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JAN/FEB 2000 

ISSUE #471 

USA $3.95 

CANADA $4,95 





To Bui 






On the cover: see page 36 

I., |, |, ,11, .,,11... III,. ,11, ImIm I, II II. ,11.. I 

tt0G0G01Q93e9HR6H JUN76 < 



RTE 1 BOX 56 
MINERAL VA 23117-9805 

in mini i 







VHF/UHF. 5 watts. I 200 memories 







El Supremo & Founder 
Wayne Green W2NSD/1 

Associate Publisher 

F. J. Marion 

Senior Editor 
Dave Ingram K4TWJ 

Executive Editor 
Jack Burnett 

Managing Editor 

Joyce Sawtelie 

Technical Editor 
Larry An tonuk WB9RRT 

Contributing Culprits 

Jim Gray W1XU/7 
Jack Heller KB7NO 
Chuck Houghton WB6IGP 
Andy MacAllister W5ACM 
Joe Moell K0OV 
Steve Nowak KE8YN/5 

Advertising Sales 
Evelyn Garrison WS7A 


Frances Hyvarinen 

Data Entry & Other Stuff 
Norman Marion 

Business Office 

Editorial - Advertising - Circulation 

Feedback - Product Reviews 

73 Amateur Radio Today Magazine 

70 Hancock Rd. 

Peterborough NH 03458-1107 


Fax: 603-924-8613 

JAN/FEB 2000 
ISSUE #471 




Radio Today 



New Millennium Wish List — K4TWJ 

A budget-conscious guide to expforing new amateur radio 


Buffalo Springs Lake Half-lronman Triathlon — KC5VKB 

Ham PR at its best. 

22 Junk Box Audio Test Generator — Sellen 

This scavenged helper is easy to build and fun to use, 

26 Read All About It! — K8JWR 

Part 2 of good stuff from The Hertzian Herald. 

29 73s DX Dynasty Award Winners — Staff 

31 Secrets of Transmission Lines — KE2QJ 

Part 6: The Smith Chart. 


18 Inside Alinco's DR-M03 — KE2QJ 

This 1 0m transceiver is right for everybody. 




WB6JGP 44 








W2NSD/1 4 

K4TWJ 36 

KE8YN/4 39 

W1XU/7 60 

WB8VGE 47 



Above & Beyond 

Ad Index 

Barter 'n' Buy 


The Digital Port 


Homing In 


Never Say Die 

On the Cover 

On the Go 




Radio Bookshop 

Web Page 

www, w ay negreen .com 


design? 3 @ aol . co m 

Reprints: $3 per article 
Back issues; $5 each 

Printed in the USA 

Manuscripts: Contributions tor 
possible publication are most 
welcome. We'll do the best we can to 
return anything you request, but we 
assume no responsibility for loss 
or damage. Payment for submitted 
articles will be made after publication. 
Please submit both a disk and a 
hard copy of your article [IBM (ok) 
or Mac (preferred) formats], carefully 
checked drawings and schematics, 
and the clearest best focused a no 
lighted' photos you can manage. J 'How 
to write for 73" guidelines are available 
on request. US citizens, please 
include your Social Security number 
with submitted manuscripts so we can 
submit it to you know who. 

Special Bulletin for Those 
Who Think Uncle Wayne is 
Crying "Wolf!" 

If you' re one of the (albeit) minority who think that 
Wayne has been raising false alarums or cooking 
the numbers in some way, guess again. 

Sorry, but here's some bad news. The Amateur 
Radio Service has stopped growing and could eas- 
ily slip into a decline. So say the latest amateur ra- 
dio census statistics published in the latest issue of 
Fred Maia's W5YI Report, According to Maia, growth 
in the number of United States ham radio licensees 
has nearly halted overall over the past year. 

Fred told Newsline that his numbers exclude hams 
whose licenses have expired but remain within the 
two-year grace period. And while the overall number 
of U.S. hams is up by a bit over 3,000 over a year 
ago : it stiJI only amounts to less than one-half of one 
percent in actual growth. 

Only Techs showed any real increase, up by more 
than 10.500 from a year earlier. Tech Plus and Ama- 
teur Extras rose slightly, too, but Advanced and Gen- 
eral were down slightly. The biggest percentage loss 
was among Novices. Their ranks declined by more 
than 5,000 operators over the past twelve months. 

Thanks to W5YI Report, via Newsline, Bill 
Pasternak WA6ITF, editor, 

Continued on page 8 

73 Amateur Radio Today (ISSN 1052-2522) is published monthly by 73 .Magazine, 70 Hancock Rd. ? 
Peterborough NH 03458-1107. The entire contents ©2000 by 73 Magazine. No part of this publication may be 
reproduced without written permission of the publisher, which is not all that difficult to get. The subscription 
rate is: one year $24,97, two years $44.97- Canada: one year $34.21 , two years $57.75, including postage and 
7% GST. Foreign postage; $19 surface, $42 airmail additional per year, payable in US funds on a US bank. 
Second class postage is paid at Peterborough, NH, and at additional mailing offices. Canadian second class 
mail registration #178101. Canadian GST registration #125393314. Microfilm edition: University Microfilm, Ann 
Arbor Ml 48106. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 73 Amateur Radio Today, 70 Hancock Rd., 
Peterborough NH 03458-1107. 73 Amateur Radio Today Is owned r:y Shabromat Way Ltd. of Hancock NH. 


■ II - 

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Number 1 on your Feedback card 

Neuer snv DIE 

Wayne Green W2NSD/1 

w2nsd^aol + com 

Mea Culpa 

Yes, this is a combination 
January/February issue. Yes, 
all subscriptions (including 
lifers) will be extended a 
month. And, yes t this is all 
my fault, Mea culpa. I plead 
guilty — with an explanation, 

You've noticed the thinning 
of 73. Well, since all of the 
other ham rags have been 
thinning too, as the ham in- 
dustry has been slowly starv- 
ing, maybe you haven't paid 
a lot of attention. A healthy 
magazine has to have about 
50% advertising, with the other 
50% of the revenues coming 
from circulation. 

Since the only way a com- 
pany can generate sales is by 
advertising or PR, the compa- 
nies who react to a drop in 
sales by cutting their ad ex- 
penses are heading on an in- 
evitable downward spiral to- 
ward bankruptcy. That's about 
the dumbest move a company 
can make. No, when times get 
tough, that's when survivors 
put even more effort into their 
PR and advertising. That's 
when they milk those reader 
service responses for every- 
thing they* re worth. That's 
when they listen to their 

I, and 73, managed to sur- 
vive the greatest catastrophe 
in the history of amateur ra- 
dio, the monumentally stupid 
ARRL so-called Incentive Li- 
censing proposal. That beaut 
killed ham equipment sales 
for over three years, putting 
almost 90% of the ham deal- 
ers around the country out of 
business, and virtually wip- 
ing out the entire American 
ham equipment industry. 
Gone were giants such as 
Hallicrafters, Hammarlund, 

4 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

National Radio, Multi-Elmac, 
and a long list of others. No 
more Stancor, Thordarson, 
Barker & Williamson, Gonset, 
Sideband Engineers, Telrex, 
Clegg, Central Electronics, 
Lakeshore Industries, etc. 

I watched the American gi- 
ants topple, making the entry 
of the Japanese manufactur- 
ers to fill the vacuum easy. 
While the ARRL was trying 
to get the FCC to force the 
American hams off phone 
and back to CW, the Japanese 
pioneered the no-code li- 
cense, resulting in a huge 
growth of Japanese hams, 
which fueled the growth of 
Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, Stan- 
dard, and the other Japanese 

One unintended result of 
the ARRL proposal was the 
closing down of thousands of 
American school radio clubs 
(oops!), thus cutting off the 
entry of teenagers into the 
hobby. And since 80% of the 
teenagers who had become 
hams went on to careers in 
high-tech industries, this cut 
off the entry of tens of thou- 
sands of youngsters into our 
electronics industries. Mean- 
while, the Japanese schools 
organized radio clubs, gener- 
ating over a million new 
hams, which resulted in hun- 
dreds of thousands of high- 
tech career-oriented young- 
sters. Our high-tech businesses 
were starved for engineers 
and technicians, while the 
Japanese companies had an 
endless supply. 

When I visited Japanese 
electronics and computer re- 
search labs and factories, I was 
met at every turn by smiling 
Japanese hams, saying hello to 
W2NSD, When I'd give talks 
to American ham clubs, I'd 
meet a bunch of old men. 


-l ■ a . T -" »-l- 

How much the League's 
1 963 Incentive Licensing 
proposal crippled our Ameri- 
can electronics and computer 
industries can never be mea- 
sured, but Fd say that this one 
incredible blunder cost our 
country trillions, as well as 
seriously hurt our military 

Ooops, I've digressed. First 

At the same time as our 
ham industry has been cutting 
their advertising, making sure 
they Ml not survive, I've been 
so busy doing other things 
that I haven't been paying 
much attention to 73 or rais- 
ing hell with the industry over 
their self-destructive response 
to the drop in sales. 

My year on the New 
Hampshire Economic Devel- 
opment Commission got me 
interested in finding out all I 
could about our school and 
health care systems. Exten- 
sive research showed me how 
our school system could be 
enormously improved, and 
run at a fraction of its current 
cost. And I found the same 
thing with health care. In- 
deed, I discovered that the 
cause of all illnesses has been 
known for years, but that the 
medical industry has been 
covering it up in order to 
make doctors and pharma- 
ceutical and insurance com- 
panies rich. I decided it was 
time for me to blow the 

Yes, ham radio is a lot of 
fun and it's provided me with 
a lifetime of adventure, but 
here was an opportunity to 
help millions of people to be 
healthy and add many pro- 
ductive years to their lives. 
So I dropped almost every- 
thing, including 73, to pursue 
this new goal — getting on 

talk radio and pushing my Se- 
cret Guide to Health book. 

The Changes 

Two volunteers are now 
working to repair the damage 
my neglect has caused. Dave 
Ingram K4TWJ, who should 
be familiar to you through his 
many articles, columns, and 
books, has stepped in to beef 
up the editorial end of the 
magazine, and Evelyn Garri- 
son WS7A, the wonderful 
lady who helped make Icom a 
ham household name, will be 
selling advertising. Well, I 
haven't had the time I used 
to for selling. 

Dave will be looking for 
lots of reviews of new ham 
gear, and Evelyn will be pes- 
tering the manufacturers to 
get us new gear to review. Let 
Dave know if you think 
you're qualified to be a re- 
viewer and in which ham 
fields you're an expert. 

Dave and I are interested in 
the same thing you are — we 
want to read about a piece of 
new ham gear and to be 
driven wild with desire. We 
want to know about the ben- 
efits and the fun we'll have, 
more than a list of the fea- 
tures. And we aren't much in- 
terested in a lot of technical 

Speaking of fun, I enjoy 
reading about the fun other 
hams are having, whether it 
be something unusual in a 
Field Day effort, a moun- 
taintop VHF expedition, or a 
DXpedition to some weird 
place. Or maybe a fiendish 
fox hunt situation. This is a 
hobby. It's for fun, so a ham 
magazine should be fun to 
By combining the Jan/Feb 
issues we'll get back on 
schedule so that starting in 
March youll get every issue 
in your hands by the first day 
of the cover month. 

Yes, of course, FU continue 
my editorials. We tried elimi- 
nating them for a couple of 
years and the circulation 
quickly plummeted, so we 
sure won't ever try that again. 

With Dave doing the edito- 
rial work and Evelyn working 
to keep the industry from 

Continued on page 37 


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Resellers, get special pricing when you fax your 
sales tax license to CEI at +1-734-663-8888. 


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Number 6 on your Feedback card 

From the Ham Shack 

Bill Thim N1QVQ. In a recent editorial, 
you mention connecting repeaters to HF so 
no-coders could catch the HF bug, Here in 
Connecticut we have just such a system. It 
is administrated by the 4 *Rocky Hill Don- 
key Dusters'" club, with the callsign 
KB1CDL We have one 440 machine* one 
220 machine, three 147 machines, one 6 
meter machine, one 10 meter FM machine. 
TPHONE In to met phone, and the ability to 
dial up any HF SSB frequency 160-10 
meters. It is a great incitement for no-codes 
to be driving to work while talking to DX 
stations via 10 meters or I-PHONE or both 
at the same time. Keep up the good work. 

Great! But how about some cuticles on 
how others can do it, too? — Wayne, 

Frank HL/N8HI (Korea). I just got a 
message from S,R Kim HL1 VXQ, the man- 
ager of KARL + In regards to Americans 
operating an amateur station here, one must 
submit an application 3 months prior to their 
planned operation. One copy of the 
amateur's license, and the specs in regards 
to the amateur gear to be used, rig, antenna, 
etc. The radio license fees: over 50 W is 
100,000 Won per yean under 50 W. 80,000 
per year. This data is to be sent to the Korea 
Amateur Radio League, 275-7 KEC B/D 6F, 
Yangjaedong, Seochoku, Seoul, Korea. 
They claim that it takes approximately 3 
months for the application to clear, so it 
takes some planning. The recipient will use 
an HL preface followed by their callsign. I 
will ask them if they could put the applica- 
tion up on their Web page in English- Mike 
and I've been waiting since 1978 for this. 
Having the HL9 callsign all these years was 
OK, but one could not erect an antenna at 
their home without fear of being declared 
persona turn grata or worse. As a result, 
many avid DXcrs had lo go to a military 
base in order to operate. Cold winter nights, 
poor healing, hot summers, mosquitoes, 
very distant toilet facilities — it was a pain 
in the tush. Recently, all the old communi- 
cations vans that we used for our ham sta- 
tions have been taken away and bulldozed 
into sawdust, plus there is no longer an 
amateur radio club here in Korea, That's 
largely due to military ham being assigned 
to other fun places. Hi! With the help of a 
very nice gentleman, Dong Jeong HL 1TSZ, 
the KARL Assistant Manager, the whole 
process took less than an hour. The appli- 
6 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

cation was multilingual, so there was no 
problem there, but is extensive, asking about 
one's final 6146 or such, PLLor what have 
you, frequencies anticipated, general run 
type info. They are in the process of con- 
verting their Web page lo English, so the 
application will be available for down load- 
ing. Processing then should take around 20 
days. The license will be good for one year, 
renewable, but then the fee is reduced to 
perhaps 30,000 won. Now all they need is a 
couple of hotels or motels with 5 over 5 
stacked 20 meter beams on *em ? then watch 
the DXers converge! 

The next lime I'm visiting Seoul, Til trade 
in my HL9WG call for an HLL — Wayne. 

Donald Pottorf. Tin looking for old 73s 
and other ham radio magazines that feature 
circuits to build. Any help out there? Please 
contact me at ECM Inc., 400 G Ave., Douglas 
AZ 85607; tel. (520) 364-4458, 

Jim Giunta W3WA. 1 have been hoping 
that you would comment on the situation 
on 3950 MHz. I am sure you are aware of 
the controversy concerning the Liberty Net 
that meets every Saturday night a 10 p. in. 
Eastern time. I have listened many times to 
the comments made by those who partici- 
pate, and although I do not always agree 
with what they say, I can see no reason why 
anyone, including the FCC, would want the 
net to cease operating. I understand that the 
net has been asked to justify its reason for 
operating; Have you every heard of the FCC 
asking any net to do this in the past? Doesn't 
the First Amendment also guarantee free 
speech on amateur radio? It was always my 
understanding that the Second Amendment 
was for the purpose of protecting American 
citizens from the government. If not the 
government, than who would it be that we 
are to be protected from? In your view, 
would it not be in the best interests of ama- 
teur radio for the FCC to concentrate its ef- 
forts on finding and eliminating the jammers 
who interfere with the net each and every 
week, rather than trying to dictate the con- 
tent of what is said on the net as long as it is 
not profane or illegal? 1 look forward to your 
comments in your editorials, 

Hey, when you* re right you're right! — 

Les Warr iner WA7H AM. Reference 73, 
pg. 8, October 1999, letter from Greg 
Hoover W8GR I agree that it is a barefaced 
attempt by the FCC in concert with the 
ARRL lo make all persons solely identified 
by a unique identifier, i.e., SSN/TIN. But 
the military has gotten away with it for 
years. When I first joined I had a "Service 
Number 1 (19195697). That number was 
normally preceded with an identifier as to 
branch, AF* RA, etc. Then they suddenly 
changed that system to the SSN of every- 
one. Now the tune of the powers that be 
seems to be another unique identifier such 
as an implant in the lobe of the ear, etc., 
which will be your identifier throughout life. 
To be implanted at birth much the same as 
the SSN is now being required on all new- 
borns before they leave the hospital. When 
we get to the point that all will wear brown 
suits and have tattoos on our forearms, I 
wonder if anyone will wake up .., 

/ suspect that there may be no way to get 
the general public's artention away from 
sitcoms, ball games, and Judge Judy, It's 
strangely analogous to the games that dis- 
tracted the Romans while their empire was 
being desrroved. — Wayne* 

Gregg Hoover W8GH, Here is an up- 
date to my letter published in the October 
1999 issue. 

The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 
1 996 was ostensibly written to stem the high 
default rate for federal loans. The SSN de- 
mand is specifically authorized only for 
agencies to use in collecting and reporting 
on their loans in default. The law states that 
a federal agency can only demand a Social 
Security number (SSN) if a person is in a 
relationship with the agency that may give 
rise to a receivable due to that agency, such 
as a partner of a borrower in or a guarantor 
of a Federal direct or insured loan adminis- 
tered by the agency. 

Each agency shall disclose to a person 
required to furnish a taxpayer identifying 
number under this subsection its intent to 
use such number for purposes of collecting 
and reporting on any delinquent amounts 
arising out of such person's relationship 
with the government. 

From the start, ! had a strong gut feeling 

Continued on page 59 

1.8-170 MHz 



Reads complex impedance . . . Super easy-to-use 

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Measure signal strength 
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Number 8 on your Feedback card 

Continued from page I 

More Changes for 
Hamvention 2000 

More changes are coming to the Dayton 
Hamvention, as it plans its year 2000 event The 
latest shift is in the hours of the flea market Fri- 
day it still opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m., 
but Saturday and Sunday will now also see an 8 
am start. For the past few years. 7 a.m. has been 
the opening of the tlea market area. 

Also, flea market sellers will now be required 
to be in place one half hour prior to opening. No 
more setting up as the crowds are coming in. 

The Dayton Amateur Radio Association is also 
taking a hard-line stand on a tough moral issue- 
Effective with Hamvention 2000, there is a total 
ban on the sate of any and all adult materials. 

And, lest we forget, The Dayton Amateur Ra- 
dio Association no longer calls its flea market a 
flea market. Flea market sellers are now referred 
to as outside vendors. This is probably the result 
of combining the inside sales and flea market 
committees into one, 

Thanks to WAOWRI, via Newsline, Bill 
Pasternak WA6iTF> editor. 

FAR Scholarships 

The Foundation for Amateur Radio, Inc., a 
nonprofit organization with headquarters in 
Washington DC, plans to administer seventy- 
three (73) scholarships for the academic year 
2000-2001 to assist licensed radio amateurs. The 
foundation, composed of over seventy-five local 
area amateur radio clubs, fully funds ten of these 
scholarships with the income from grants and its 
annual hamfest. The remaining sixty-three (63) 
are administered by the foundation without cost 
to the various donors. 

Licensed radio amateurs may compete for 
these awards if they plan to pursue a full-time 
course of studies beyond high school and are 
enrolled in or have been accepted for enrollment 
at an accredited university, college, or technical 
school. The awards range from S500 to $2500, 
with preference given in some cases to residents 
of specified geographical areas or the pursuit of 
certain study programs. Clubs, especially those 
in Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsyl- 
vania, Texas. Virginia, and Wisconsin, are encour- 
aged to announce these opportunities at their 
meetings, in their club newsletters, during train- 
ing classes, on their nets, and on their World Wide 
Web home pages. 

Additional information and an application 
form may be requested by letter or QSL card. 

8 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

postmarked prior to April 30, 2000 from FAR 
Scholarships. P.O. Box 831 . Riverdale MD 20738, 
The Foundation for Amateur Radio, incorpo- 
rated in the District of Columbia, is an exempt 
organization under Section 501(C)(3) of the In- 
ternal Revenue Code of 1954. ft is devoted ex- 
clusively to promoting the interests of amateur 
radio and those scientific, literary, and educa- 
tional pursuits that advance the purposes of the 
Amateur Radio Service. 

GM to Put Internet 

in Its Cars 

General Motors Corp.. the world's largest 
automaker, says that it plans to offer wireless 
Internet access in some vehicles wHhin a year 
This, according to the Detroit News, which says 
that plans call lor a system that will allow a driver 
to check E-mail, surf the Web. and download data 
while cruising around town or over the nation's 

According to the article, GM will show a 
Cadillac Seville equipped with voice-activated 
Internet service that allows the driver hands-free 
access to the Internet via GM's Onstar commu- 
nications and navigation system. The Detroit 
automaker had previously said it intended to of- 
fer Internet access in its cars, but Mark Hogan, 
president of GM's recently formed e-GM unit, 
made public when this will happen during an 
interview with the paper at the Tokyo Motor 

GM says that being the first to offer mobile 
Internet service will give the automaker a head 
start in the race to market online technology, 
Commenting on safety issues, Hogan said that 
the system really focuses on audio-based tele- 
phony where a customer can interact with the 
Internet via voice. That way, says Hogan, the 

driver can concentrate on the main task, which 
is safely driving the car. 

Thanks to GM, via Newsline. Biff Pasternak 
WABfTE editor 

The Mind is Immortal 

According to Graham Kemp VK4BB of Q* 
News, contacts between the living and those who 
have already crossed over into the hereafter may 
be the ultimate form of communication. And the 
technology of the next century could make it pos- 
sible for such QSOs to take place. 

Business Week magazine has discussed 21 
ideas that may be key to understanding the next 
century. One idea is the simulation of an 
individual's brain activity, making it possible for 
future generations to converse with a virtual 
equivalent of the person years after his or her 

By the 2030s t technology may be developed 
to simulate a nervous system's electrical activ- 
ity, allowing thoughts and feelings to be pre- 
served. A person s life could be recorded using 
tiny video cameras housed in eyeglass frames. 
These cameras could be linked to IBM's newest 
hard disk, which is the size of a quarter and stores 
300 MB, or one month worth of data, 

IBM is also developing software to index video 
content automatically, allowing users to easily 
access a specific moment in their lives. 

By 2099, a "Soul Emancipator 11 will be able to 
access the hard data and reconstruct a person's 
thoughts and feelings, allowing future genera- 
tions to receive realistic answers to questions 
posed to a person who has been dead for years, 

And no, this is not science fiction, For the hams 
who are here three generations from now r talk- 
ing with silent keys will probably be a fact of life. 

Thanks to Q-News, via Newsline, Bit} 
Pasternak WAStTE editor. 

Last yean James Alderman KF5WT set up a portable station at a Dallas trailer park for 
Kids Day on the Ham Bands, and invited kids to experience the thrill of amateur radio. 
In addition to 8 contacts, the kids enjoyed making posters, coloring maps, and relaxing 
with cookies and punch. A good time was had by all. 



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Number 1Q on your Feedback card 

New Millennium Wish List 

A budget-conscious guide to exploring new amateur radio horizons. 

What special treats and easy-to-explore frontiers await today's progressive-minded 
amateurs? Our new senior editor, K4TWJ, gives us a peek preview of some unique and 
surprisingly affordable activities guaranteed to keep your radio life exciting. Look for 
fun coverage of them all in the new 73. — Wayne. 

Amateur radio today is a bunch 
of activities that can keep you 
inspired and enthusiastic for 

years. Many folks, however, limit their 
enjoyment to one or two always-popu- 
lar areas, like DXing and contesting, 
rather than investigate other avenues of 

Photo A. Operating AM with a restored- 
to-new vacuum tube rig front eras past of- 
fers more thrills and excitement than 
cruising Route 66 in a classic auto — and 
it is also noticeably less expensive! Here, 
we see well-known amateur radio photog- 
rapher Joe Veras N4QB operating 10 AM 
with a classic Johnson Ranger transmitter 
and Collins 75A-4 receiver Now that is a 
real glow-in-the-dark ham rig, gang! 

10 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

special interests just for fun, Why? 
Most need basic "what is it and how do 
I get started?" details. 

Bearing that in mind, I have com- 
piled a list and a review of some hot 
activities you can tune in and monitor 
in your own shack* The list is not com- 
plete, but it is a good starling point 
from which we can expand in future 

If your favorite activity isn't listed, 
please pass along the details: fre- 
quency and time(s) of operation(s). 
and notes for inclusion in a future/up- 
dated listing. Amateur radio is fun, and 
we want to see everyone enjoying it to 
the max! My opening list of activities 
is shown in Table 1, and brief introduc- 
tory explanations of each area follow 
here. Enjoy ! 

AM operations 

Yes. AM is making an encore come- 
back on the bands — and it sounds ab- 
solutely marvelous. Do not just take 
my word lor that statement: Listen be- 
tween 29,0 and 29.1 MHz on week- 
ends and judrre for yourself. You will 

mJ W if 

hear operators using Johnson Rangers 
and Valiants, B & W 5100s. Heath 
DXIQOs, Collins 75A4s. and National 

NC-300s, plus broadcast-quality mi- 
crophones and recording studio-type 
audio equalizers (Photo A), You'll en- 
joy the resultant 'bright lights and 
glamour' sound, heartwarming memo- 
ries of classic glow-in-the-dark tube 
rigs, and the surprisingly high signal 
strength of low power/barefoot sta- 
tions. Then you'll start scouring ham- 
fest flea markets for a classic setup 
to restore. 

QRP activities 

This is one of the hottest areas of 
special interest in amateur radio — 
and it continues growing at a phenom- 
enal rate. New clubs, newsletters, kits, 
projects, and QRP contests are spring- 
ing up almost monthly. While big-lime 
equipment manufacturers reported de- 
clined sales a few months back, pro- 
ducers of QRP gear were backlogged. 

Why such interest in QRP? It is low 
profile and low cost hamming at its 
best. You can carry a little two- or 
three- wall transceiver and battery 
pack in your pocket, set up with a 
wire antenna almost anywhere, and 
span the globe when conditions are 
good (Photo B). 

Photo B* Home-brew delights! QRP transceivers like these 3 watt 
20 and 30 meter units make dandy weekend traveling compan- 
ions. They can be powered from batteries or wall adapter-type 
power supplies, and they work out great from almost any location. 
Now that is what we call 'HF to go! M 

If you enjoy using new rigs but 
aren't on a big budget, you'll love 
QRR More articles, projects, and re- 
views of QRP goodies are slated for 
future issues. Remember, loo, that all 
the upcoming secret tips for QRP suc- 
cess are equally applicable to 100- 
watt-type home and mobile setups. 
Read Mike Bryce WBSVGE's l4 QRF' 
column for more news and info on 

County hunting and mobiling 

You have probably heard about this 
colorful awards program, and may 
even be halfway to earning your own 
"Worked All Counties" award, but 
have you considered being the hunted 
rather than the hunter? It's a blast — 
you help others increase their totals, 
while at the same time you can try out 
contest* or DX-style operating. Try out 
this terrific way to enjoy mobiling! 

Slow scan TV 

This mode has captured hams' atten- 
tion for several decades. SSTV is the 
only video medium that supports real- 
time worldwide exchanges of pictures 
without requiring a broadband satellite 
for relaying signals. Each day's opera- 
tions on SSTV are both exciting and 
unpredictable. You may see views of an- 
other operator's setup, a sunset across 
Sydney Harbor, or a fresh snowfall in Ja- 
pan. Technical-minded SSTVers experi- 
ment with and build their own 

equipment. Others 
use Kenwood's bat- 
tery-powered VC- 
1H SSTV unit to 
have a ball work- 
ing both HF and 
VHR Why not 
check out SSTV? 
You'll like what 
you see! 


This is one of 
the latest forms of 
printed communi- 
cations. It is simi- 
lar in concept to 
and joining PSK 
is a breeze. You just add a couple of 
audio cables between your transceiver 
and home computer's sound card, in- 
clude a simple line level (1 volt) to 
mike level (.06 volt) and speaker level 
(.5 volt) interface, and load PSK-31 
shareware into your computer Tweak 
levels, fire up your gear, and you are 
ready for action. 

Exactly how popular is PSK-31? 
Listen in the "data range' 1 of 20 meters 
(14.065 to 14.080 MHz) and judge for 
yourself. The familiar "twee-loos" of 
RTTY and the "chirping cricket" 
sounds of AMTOR will be heard 
around 14.065 to 141)80 MHz, and the 
warbling single/continuous tone of 
PSK-31 will be heard around 14.070 
MHz. Being computer-based, this new 
mode holds high potential for future 
expansions — and right now is the 
ideal time to get in on the ground floor 
Watch for more on PSK-31 coming in 
future issues of 73, and stay tuned to 
the digital world in general through 
Jack Heller KBTNO's 'The Digital 
Port" column. 

10 meter FM 

Looking for new thrills? Just tune 
your FM rig to the international "di- 
rect" frequency of 29,600 MHz, and 
then continue as usual until DX sta- 
tions begin opening its squelch. You* 11 be 
amazed at how many stations can reach 
out hundreds or thousands of miles 
with low power on 10 FM. European 


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73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 11 





AM operations with 
classic rigs 

29.000 MHz-29.100 MHz informal net on 
3870 kHz 9 p.m. PST Wednesdays 

Any time 10 meters is open — 
especially on weekends 

Incredibly great sounding stations, 

Watch for upcoming article on great 

sounding stations. 

QRP operations and 



Any lime and all the time. Congests 

and informal QSO parties held 

during approximately 40 out of 52 

weekends per year. 

QRP is a hot and growing inieresi 

among amateurs of aTl license classes. 

Also see "QRP" column by Mike Bryce 


1.810 MHz 

1.910 MHz 

3.560 MHz 

3.985 MHz 

7.040 MHz 

7.285 MHZ 

10,106 MHz 


21 .060 MHz 

21.385 MHz 

24,906 MHz 

24,950 MHz 

28,060 MHz 

28,385 MHz 

50,060 MHz 

50.895 MHz 

All frequencies ±10 kHz according to activity. 

County hunting and 
CHC mofailing 

14.055 MHz 

14.335 MHz 

Any time and all the time. Greatest 

amount of activity on weekends — 

when folks are traveling. 

Working toward a County Hunters 

award is super fun Being a hunted 

county is even more exciting. 

Frequencies approximate. 

Slow scan TV 

3.845 MHz 

Any time and all the time. 

International SSTV Net meets on 

14.230 MHz Saturdays at 1800 


Mustcal sounding tones with "clicks" ... 
worldwide pictures' 

7.220 MHz 

14.230 MHz 

21.340 MHz 

28,680 MHz 

50,200 MHz 

Frequencies approximate. 


14.070-14.075 MHz 

Any time and alt the time, 

Today's easiest-to-join mode of printed 

10 meter FM 

29.480 MHz-29 700 MH2 

Any time 1 meters is open — 
especially on weekends. 

Combines the quiet monitoring concept 

of FM with the range of 10m, Also see 

KE8YN,'4"s "On the Go H column. 

6 meter FM 

S2-54 MHz 

52.525 MHz simplex 

Any time 6 meters is open, 

Also follow the "On ihe Go" column for 
more info 

AO-27: The orbiting FM 


145.850 MHZ ujHink 

435.800 MHz 


During daytime, 1 or 2 hours either 

s»de of noon, local time. Actual pass 

is 15 minutes. 

Also see Andy MacAllister W5ACM s 
"Hamsats* column for latest news. 

(± Doppler shrfl) 

$0-35: The orbiting 
parrot repeater/satellite 

436.300 MHz uplink 

145.825 MHZ 

Exact operating schedule to be 

(± Doppler shift) 


meter relaying satellite 

MHz uplink 

29.410 MHz-29.450 

MHz downlink 

Schedule of times announced on 
AMSAT Net 14.282 MHz, Sundays 

at 1900 GMT. 

ICOM Users Net 

14,317 MHz 

1900 GMT Sundays 

Rig news, notes r and Info gal ore \ 

Collins Users Net 

14.263 MHz 

2100 GMT Sundays 

Swan Users Net 

14.250 MHz 

2200 GMT Sundays 

Table L Mam radio fit n! 

12 73 Amateur Radio Today » Jan/Feb 2000 

Photo C Imagine working European stations via a New England-based repeater or 
reaching into the South Pacific through a West Coast repeater, and you have a good idea 
of the newfound fun awaiting you on 10 FM. Yes t and all you need is a low power trans- 
ceiver and basic antenna to join the action* The fun starts on 29.600 MHz. Check it out! 

and African FMers roll in during 
morning hours when ten is "hot," Aus- 
tralian, Hawaiian, and Japanese sta- 
tions are solid many afternoons and 
evenings, while some stations through- 
out the U.S. and South America fre- 
quent 10 FM almost continuously 
(Photo C). Repeaters on 1 FM (some 
in the U.S., some in distant lands) typi- 
cally operate on 29.620, 29.640, 
29,660, and 29.680 MHz, with "100 
kHz down" inputs on 29.520, 29.540, 
29.560, and 29.580 MHz, A second 
simplex channel on 29.480 MHz is 
also becoming popular. For more de- 
tails on 10 FM, see Steve Nowak 
KESYN/4's "On the Go" column. We 

Photo D. K4TWJ shows us how to pioneer 
new radio frontiers in (of all places!) a 
shopping mall parking lot. He is catching 
an AO-27 satellite pass "QRP style " using 
only a dual-band FM talkie. 

will also be highlighting crossband 
linking on 10 FM during upcoming 
months! Stay tuned. 

6 meter FM 

The "Magic Band'' is also seeing 
long-range FM action when the MUF 
goes up to 50 MHz or sporadic-E 
propagation flourishes — and that 
happens more and more often with 
today's increasing sunspot activity, 
Leaving your 6 meter EM rig squelched 
and tuned to 52.525 MHz puts you in 
the action. Be sure you know your grid 
square when working 6 FM, as every- 
one on six chases "rare" grid squares 
— it's sort of like DXCC hunting. Fol- 
low KE8YN/4's "On the Go" column 
for more details, 


FM activities via OSCAR satellites 
are usually considered inappropriate, 
but AMSAT OSCAR 27 is different. 
This satellite is an FM repeater with an 
uplink frequency of 145,850 MHz and 
a downlink frequency on 436,800 
MHz (both ± Doppler shifts). AO-27 
can handle the full duty cycle demands 
of FM because its repeater is only 
switched on during daylight (when its 
solar panels are in the sunlight), and 
because it relays only one signal at a 
time (you make brief transmissions 
and share satellite lime). Using a full 
duplex-type dual-band FM talkie with 
a tall whip antenna, you can typically 

Continued on page 59 



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73 Amat&ur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 13 

David Herring KC5VKB 
2806 55th 
Lubbock TX 7941 3 

Number 14 on your Feedback card 

Buffalo Springs Lake 
Half-lronman Triathlon 

Ham PR at its best. 

It was 3:30 a.m., June 28, 1998, when my alarm joked me from my short nap. I 
remember mumbling, "fm too old for this, " as I reached for the alarm clock. Man, 
what a short night, n I thought! 

Just a few hours earlier, ihe Lub- 
bock Amateur Contest Club 
(LACC) had been taking a break 
under the air conditioning inside the 
American Red Cross building to watch 
the 10 o'clock news. The LACC had 
invited the newspaper and the local TV 
stations to come see what we were 
doing lor Field Day. 

Sure enough, there we were on TV, 
with the effects of the 1 05-degree tem- 
perature and S()% humidity etched on 
our faces! We were set up behind the 
Red Cross building with the lent. i*en- 
eralors. radios, and all the other stuff 

you find at Field Day. Our main goal 
was to gel the media to do some stories 
about amateur radio. 
It seemed to have worked. Having a 

feeling of mission accomplished, we 
ended our one-day Field Day. Quickly 
tearing down the tenl and packing up 
all the other stuff, we turned our atten- 
tion to the next obstacle: The Buffalo 
Springs Luke Hal I- Iron man Triathlon. 
Just two weeks curlier, the LACC 
had been contacted by Marti Greer, di- 
rector of The Buffalo Springs Lake 
Half-Tronman Triathlon. She wanted 
the club to take over the communica- 

tions for the race. Realizing lhai this 

uas a good opportunity for our Miiall 
club, we accepted. 

The Buffalo Springs Lake Half- 
lronman Triathlon (BSLT) is one of 
the three qualifiers in the U.S. for the 
Ironman Triathlon held each October 
in Kona, Hawaii. The event is held at 
Buffalo Springs Lake (BSL), 5 miles 
southeast of Lubbock, Texas, The 
BSLT consists of a 1.2-milc swim, a 
56-milc bike race and a 1 3.1 -mile run t 
In 1 998, there were over L2fX) athletes 
entered in the Triathlon. 

I remember ihinking while Josh 

Photo A* Swimmers start the first leg of the BSLT. 
14 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/ Feb 2000 

Phoio B. The transition area is always a busy place. 

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Photo G Josh KC5VKA (left), Contest Di- 
rector Marti Green and Sloan KC5YPY 
help a contestant in the transition area, 

KC5VKA (who happens to be my 14- 
y ear-old grandson) and I were driving 
out to the lake. "How in the world we 
were going Lo do this big event with 
only ten people?" 

About that time, the lights of the 
lake appeared over the edge of die can* 
yon and the adrenaline started to 
pump! We made our way to the BSL 
Tire station, where the other members 
of the LACC were already setting up 
the radio gear. We were to share the 
room provided to us with the Texas 
State Guard, who were providing traffic 
control for the race. 

After the radio and antenna were in 
place, we had a short meeting and 

decided who would work where on the 
race course, Ron Daughtry KC5TWV 
would handle the net control duties for 
the event. Ron did a great job on a 
moment's notice! Rick Roy KB5KYJ 
would be the rover station — - his duties 
would he to pick up and transport any 
of the tri-athletes who were in trouble. 
Little did Rick know r how r busy he 
would be. Sloan Butler KC5YPY was 
the man in the hot seat. He would be at 
the transition area to relay all the infor- 
mation back and forth to net control. In 
1999, Sloan received help from Josh 

Each member of the team had sev- 
eral miles of the course to cover. This 
meant a lot of driving along the bike 
course. With over 1,200 riders on the 
course, you had to give it your full 

We were responsible for several 
things: Report the position of the first 
30 riders, check the rest stops and 
make sure they had water and ice on 
hand (which proved to be quite a task), 
and check on the health and welfare of 
the athletes. 

When you work an event this size 
you need reliable communications. We 
were fortunate to have the use of Lee 
Kitchens NSYBW's repeater, located 
in Lake Ransom Canyon just below 
BSL- This machine covered all of the 
canyon area with no problem. Thanks, 
Lee, for your help! Joey Johnston 
KC5MVZ set up his 444.275 machine 
on the rim of BSL for our backup re- 
peater — luckily, it wasn't needed. To 
keep in touch with each team member 
directly, we used 434.050 simplex. 

Once the race started, we were busy 
as beavers. Net control bombarded us 
with requests for infor- mation on the 
race leaders, then the status of the rest 
stops along each member's section. The 
rest stops quickly ran out of water and 
ice. This information had to be relayed 
back to the transition area, where Sloan 
KC5YPY notified the race officials. 
Just a note about Sloan: He must have 
run a short marathon himself — man, 
was he tired ! 

As the race progressed, the course 
started taking its toll on the bikers. A 
report came in from Jerry KC5MVT 
located at Spiral Staircase Road, He 
had a rider down with heat stroke and 
needed an ambulance. Jerry had exten- 
sive EMT training and knew what to 
do — which was good, as it took the 
EMTs 45 minutes to reach his location. 

Then came more reports of riders in 
trouble. Rick KB5KYJ, our rover sta- 
tion, stayed busy all day picking up 
those whom the course had defeated. 
On one of these occasions, Rick came 
upon a runner who had gone down on 
his descent back into die lake area. 
This guy was in big trouble! 

Rick remembers: 'When I picked this 
guy up and put him in my truck, he 
was still trying to run — he didn't 
know where he was!" While Rick was 
wrestling with more victims of heat 
stroke, Harrell Ellis KD5ADO had 
taken up position behind the last run- 
ner in the triathlon. The runner, Chris, 
was a young handicapped man in a 
wheelchair, who had come all the way 
from England for the race, Harrell fol- 
lowed Chris in his van and provided 

Photo D. Cyclists paid a price in Horseshoe Bend Canyon, 
16 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

Photo E. At long last ... 



-, ;, 


; --^ ■" 

Photo K BSLT hams. Back ww; Joey Johnston KC5MVZ t David 
Herring KC5VKB t Jack Taylor KM5SI, Harrell Ellis KD5AD0, 
Sloan Butler KC5YPY t Koy Carson K5K0Y. Front row: Josh Her- 
ring KC5VKA, Rick Roy KB5KYJ, Eric Howard KC5RWK. Not 
shown: Bill Vickers KJ5BX, David Knight KC5HNI, Jerry Russell 
KC5MVZ Ron Daughtry KC5TWV> Bob Metheny KD5GDD, 

water and moral support for 32 miles. 
Unfortunately, with only om mile to 
go, Chris could not finish the race. 
This is real- life drama and ham radio 
was there. 

Doing an event like The Buffalo 
Springs Lake Half-Ironman Triathlon 
is really fun, even though it lasted for 
10 hours. It gives you a needed shot in 
the arm where amateur radio is con- 
cerned. It's good to help the commu- 
nity and let them know what ham>, can 
really do. In 1999, we used 14 hams at 
the event; in 2000, we will probably 
need 20, This thing just keeps getting 

Oh, I almost forgot: Something 
funny happened out on the Farris Rd. 
section of the course. Koy K5KOY had 
gotten out of his truck and was intend- 
ing to get some bottled water out of the 
back so that he could have some to 
drink. All of the sudden, a young lady 
who was in the triathlon stopped and 
asked if he needed something to drink! 
"Man, I must have looked pretty bad," 
Koy recalled, "for her to stop her race 
and offer ME water!" Even though the 
temperature was well over 100 de- 
grees, I think she was just saying 
thanks to a hot and sweaty ham who 
was watching over them. 

In case you think this is the only 
thing going on in the Lubbock ham 
community think again. Lubbock is a- 
buzz with activity. It wasn't always | 

that way, but 
things are really 
looking up for the 
new millennium. 

We have a very 
good 2 meter net 
on Tuesday night 
at 8:00 CDX 
Hosted by Randy 
Hobbs KC5HNH, 
this net covers a 
two hundred mile 
radius around Lub- 
bock. In Septem- 
ber the entire ham 
community came 
together at the 
Panhandle South 
Plains Fair for a 
weeklong exhibi- 
tion of the capa- 
bilities of ham radio. This proved to be 
very successful, as almost 80 people 
signed up for the upcoming ham radio 

Early this year, the LACC will start its 
code classes up again. And finally, we 
have a new RACES/ARES group in 
Lubbock. I would like to thank Clinton 
Thetford N5UQF and the rest of the 
RACES committee for their tireless 
efforts in bringing this to a reality. 




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73 Review 

Number 18 or> your Feedback carci 

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Inside Alinco's DR-M03 

This 10m transceiver is right for everybody. 

Have you ever thought about running HF from your car or portable operations setup 

but decided that the equipment was too big and too expensive? Well, surprise! Things 
have changed in the last few years, and there are more options than ever. Ten meters 
is one of the most interesting bands to work, and a lot of the real action on 10m 
meter FM is through repeaters. A good 10m rig is built to optimize performance for 
both simplex and repeater operations. One of the latest is the new Alinco DR-M03 
10m FM transceiver, which has just been released. 

When I first opened the box it was 
shipped in, I was surprised at 
how compact the unit was. The new ar- 
rival, complete with its microphone, 
DC power cable, mounting bracket, 
and instruction manual, is shown in 
Photo A. The rig is smaller than the 
2m rig I have been using in my car for 
the past few years. This transceiver 
measures only 1 inch high by 5 inches 
wide by 4 inches deep. The lines are 
clean, with a logical panel layout and 
only 2 cables and a speaker jack for 
connections in the rear, This is not a 
radio to intimidate the average ham; it 

Photo A. Alinco's DR-MOS comes with microphone, manual, 
mourning bracket, and DC cables. 

18 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

is a radio that said one word to me — 
fun. Being the logical individual that I 
am, I set the radio down and read 
through the instruction manual. It was 
more like speed reading, or skimming. 
Well, I actually did flip the pages. In 
any case I soon had the radio hooked 
to the power supply and antenna in the 
shack. I was right: This radio was going 
to be a lot of fun. 

The user friendliness of any techni- 
cal item is very important to me. This 
is especially true for rigs that I use in 
the car, because hitting a wrong button 
can mean losing a frequency until I 

pull into the drive- 
way. This rig's 
front panel is 
laid out so that 
the controls are 

On the left is 
the large tuning 
knob. On the 
right above the 
microphone plug is 
a push-on, push- 
off power switch. 
In the center is a 
large, easy-to-read 
digital frequency 
display with the 

volume and squelch controls to the 
right. There are six other controls below 
the display, and one other button near 
the top, but their placement does not 
distract or cause inadvertent entries. 

A tour of the front panel 

The display (Photo B) is backlit and 
easy to read in daylight or darkness. It 
displays the current frequency to two 
decimal places and adds a small 25, 
50, or 75 at the end to indicate a total 
of 4 decimal places. The rig covers 
from 28.0 to 29.7 MHz. There is a 
Busy indicator when a signal is being 
received that is strong enough to open 
the squelch, and a bar graph showing 
relative signal strength of a received 
signal or relative power during trans- 
mission. There are other displayed in- 
dications which I'll touch on later. And 
there is the standard LED that glows 
red when the rig is transmitting and 
green when a signal is received. 

Typical of most modern radios, 
many of the controls serve multiple 
purposes. I was pleasantly surprised to 
find that the labeling is clear enough to 
understand without the necessity of 
constantly referring back to the 
manual. A few controls, such as the 


• • •' 1j_: : _ 

Photo B. Front panel view of the DR-M03. 

power switch, squelch, and volume 
controls, are single purpose, while 
most of the others are multifunclional. 
The main tuning knob can be used to 
select frequency, memory channel, 
transmit offset, and subaudible (CTCSS 
or PL) tones. At the top of the rig is a 
button that allows the frequency to be 
changed in 1 MHz steps to speed fre- 
quency adjustment. Its alternate func- 
tion is to switch between the 10 watt 
high power or 1 watt low power. 

Yes, but what can it do? 

Now, I don't know about you, but as 
much as I like gadgets, gizmos, horns, 
bells, and whistles, I get a little over- 
whelmed when I see a lot of features 
on a new rig. I like to know what this 
means to me. In other words, why is a 
particular feature important and what 
is its function? 

As I mentioned before, below the 
display are six buttons. The first is the 
all-important function key, which al- 
lows you to access the alternate uses of 
the other keys. Press the function key 
then another button to activate that 
button's secondary use. Interestingly, 
the function key itself has a second 
function. If it is held down for more 
than half a second, it opens the squelch 
to permit monitoring the frequency for 
weak signals. This is handy if you hear 
a station that breaks the squelch but 
does not hold it open — just hold the 
function key down for over half a sec- 
ond and the squelch stays open until 
you release it. 

The second button reverses the 
transmit and receive frequencies. This 

of course allows 
you to see if you 
are able to hear 
another station on 
the input fre- 
quency. In some 
cases, a signal may 
be more clear direct 
than through a re- 
peater It's fairly 
common for me 
to use a repeater 
in the Boston area 
to work a station 
in Europe or Texas 
from my car in 
Florida. Sometimes the path from 
Texas might be more direct. In such 
cases, rather than tying up the repeater, 
you can switch to a simplex frequency 
and rag chew. This same button also 
activates the priority function, which 
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odically monitored. When this feature 
is selected, the rig automatically 
switches to monitor a selected frequency 
for a half second every five seconds. 
You can listen to the main frequency 
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frequency to see if anything is happen- 
ing there. Since I tend to do a lot of 
emergency and disaster service sup- 
port, the idea of keeping an eye on an 
alternative frequency is very appeal- 
ing. Of course, this same feature will 
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The third button is primarily used to 
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When conditions are favorable (and 
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not most, 10m repeaters are tone en- 
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continue to improve, more may be. 
This same button can be used to lock 
most of the functions on the rig. Once 

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locked, only the push-to-talk, power 
level, and monitor selections (and the 
unlock function, of course) work. 

Have trouble remembering to unkey 
the mike? The next button can be used 
to set a timeout timer for a period of up 
to 7 minutes. While most of us would 
never admit to having a heavy finger 
on the PTT button, we all occasionally 
get long-winded. However, there is a 
real potential benefit to this feature. 
I'm thinking seriously of playing with 
a crossband repeater that would have 
an input on VHF or UHF and its output 
on 10 meters* This TOT would provide 
protection for the system on top of the 
repeater controller. After all, a stuck 
carrier-operated relay has proven the 
demise of more than one transmitter! I 
think I would set the timeout timer for 
about 90 seconds and sleep better at 
night. This button in its secondary 
mode allows the repeater offset and di- 
rection to be selected. While current 
practice is that 10m meter FM repeat- 
ers have the input 100 kHz down 
from the output frequency, practices 
do change with time. 

We have the ability to switch be- 
tween the VFO and memory channels 
with the next button. This is fairly 
straightforward, with the VFO used to 
select a frequency that is then stored 
into a memory location, which logi- 
cally it should be, and is the alternate 
function of this same button. Of 
course, you can store not only the fre- 
quency, but also the offset and any 
tone which might be required. More 
about memory operations in a bit. One 
thing to remember is that when using 
the priority function, if the VFO deter- 
mines the primary frequency, the sec- 
ondary will be a memorized frequency 
or vice versa. 

The final button is used to activate a 
call frequency. This frequency, which 
is probably your favorite or most of- 
ten used, is stored in a special memory 
location. By pressing the call button, 
you immediately access this frequency 
without the need to scroll through the 
memorized frequencies. This button also 
is used to set the incremental spacing for 
transmit and receive frequencies. 

The unit has 100 memory channels. 
At first I thought this might be a bit of 

overkill, since there are two recog- 
nized simplex frequencies (29,60 and 
29 48 MHz) and four pairs of repeater 
frequencies (29.52A62, 29.54A64, 29.56/ 
.66 and 29.58/68 MHz). Intuitively, it 
would seem that much fewer memory 
locations would be required. However, 
many repeaters have CTCSS encod- 
ing, so you need additional memory 
locations to store the tone information. 
Although there are nearly 50 repeaters 
listed in the current repeater directory 
as transmitting on 29.62 MHz and 
many are not encoded, you'll need dif- 
ferent tones for Talladega, Alabama, 
than for Sioux City, Iowa, and 
Metairie, Louisiana. Don't laugh: One 
day you'll be working the world through 
Boston, Massachusetts, and the next it 
will be through a repeater in San Juan, 
Puerto Rico! 

I haven't decided whether it is better 
to cluster the memorized selections by 
local (channels 1-10 are northeast, for 
example), or by frequency. If by fre- 
quency, when you hear a repeater that 
is sending a solid signal on a given fre- 
quency, it would be easier to scroll 
through the selections to choose the 
proper CTCSS tone. 

Okay, but how does it work? 

Just fine, thank you, I decided to try 
the rig out in the car, so I mounted it on 
top of the other two rigs that are al- 
ready bolted to the floor. This unit 
comes with one of the most secure and 
easy-to-use mounts I've ever seen. It is 
supplied with enough cable to reach 
the battery in my car, and both legs 
have fuses at the battery end. The DC 
plug, incidentally, is interchangeable 
among Alinco's DR-M03, DR140, and 
DR605, "switch hitting*' to mate with 
your interest of the day. Although there 
is a jack for an external speaker, and I 
tend to favor larger speakers, particu- 
larly in the car, I have to admit that I 
was quite satisfied with the audio qual- 
ity using the built-in speaker. I've used 
a couple of different antennas, and as 
we all know, when it comes to the an- 
tenna, don't scrimp. Get a good an- 
tenna and make sure your modern 
state-of-the-art plastic and alloy auto- 
mobile provides an adequate ground 
plane. A mobile whip works well for 

20 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

VHF and UHF since transmissions are 
line-of-sight ground wave; with 10m, 
you will often be dependent upon the 
sky wave, which is the signal that 
bounces between Earth and the iono- 
sphere. Did I mention not to scrimp on 
the antenna? Good. 

I initially Joaded the memory with 
the four basic repeater pairs and the 
two simplex frequencies. Initially, I 
expected that the repeaters I would be 
using would be in the southeast United 
States, However, after listening for a 
while I began copying some of the re- 
peaters' identification and realized that 
some of the machines I could hear and 
wanted to work were farther away than 
I had anticipated, not to mention tone 
encoded. I pulled out my trusty re- 
peater directory, looked at the date on 
the cover, and headed to the radio store 
to get a current one- Then I sat down 
and began programming in additional 
repeaters. From my home QTH in 
Florida, and my travels on the east 
coast and across the peninsula, I have 
done my best with repeaters in New 
England, Canada, and Puerto Rico. 

My routine when driving is to hit the 
power button as I start down the road. I 
leave the rig on memory (as opposed 
to VFO). The microphone has two but- 
tons on the top that can be used to 
move up or down either through fre- 
quencies or through memory loca- 
tions. Just hold one of these buttons for 
a second or so, and the rig begins to 
scan. When a signal is detected, the 
scanning stops on the busy frequency 
for about five seconds and then contin- 
ues. If I hear a strong signal, I can stop 
the scan by tapping the up or down 
button on the mike. Obviously, if you 
press the push-to-talk button, scanning 
will also stop. Occasionally, I will 
switch to the VFO setting and then go 
into scan mode just to see what else is 
happening on 10m. 

In mobile operations, once I have the 
memory locations loaded, the only 
front panel controls I tend to use are 
the power and volume controls. Since I 
can control scanning and transmit from 
the mike, that is all I need. Okay, I do 
peak at the display, but usually I am 
more interested in which memory lo- 
cation I am using rather than the actual 

What's next? 

This rig presents a number of inter- 
esting possibilities* I've been in the po- 
sition where my work required a fair 
amount of travel, and there's nothing 
more boring than motel rooms night 
after night. Since this unit draws only 
3 amps on transmit and 800 mA on re- 
ceive, a small power supply will readily 
power it for portable operations. A ten 
meter dipole with ten feet of coax can 
be rolled up easily so that the rig, an- 
tenna, and power supply can fit into 
the corner of a suitcase. This would 
be a great rig to take along on vaca- 
tion. If my bicycle hadn't been lost by 
the movers a few years ago, I would be 
tempted to attach this and a gel cell 
and operate two wheel mobile. I've 
been tempted to try to fit one into a 
fanny pack (or bum pack as my Kiwi 
friends prefer) and operate totally por- 
table. What about adding a solar panel 
to charge the gel cell? Then, of course, 
there's that crossband repeater I men- 
tioned earlier. 

Low cost, big thrills 

To me, the Alinco DR-M03 10m 
transceiver is the type of rig that makes 
ham radio fun. It's easy to use. It 
works well as a mobile rig, yet its 
small size presents a number of addi- 
tional opportunities. It got me thinking 
about what else I could do with it and 
when to try other areas of the hobby 
that I hadn't played with before. Like I 
said — fun. 

Thinking about new HF adventures? 
Check out this neat little 10 FM radio 
from Alinco. 

For more information on the DR- 
M03 or its 6m sister, the DR-M06, 
contact Alinco USA, 438 Amapola 
Ave., Suite 130, Torrance CA 90501; 
telephone (310) 618-8616 — or test- 
tune an Alinco at your favorite dealer 


Cover Photos 

For information 
call Joyce at 



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73 Amateur Radio Today, 

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73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 21 

Craig Kendrick Sellen 
Mallard Meadows, Room 405 
476 Belmont St. 
Way mart PA 18472 

Number 22 on your Feedback card 

Junk Box Audio Test Generator 

This scavenged helper is easy to build and fun to use. 

I designed this device to be a junk box home-brew project Some of the parts were 
scavenged from old computer boards — only the chip was bought new. Among many 
other things, it could be used for modularly testing a transmitter or for troubleshooting 
commercial radio sets. 

This is an AF function generator 
covering the frequency range 
between 25 and 25 .000 Hz in 
three bunds* 1 1 has sine, square, and tri- 
angular or sawtooth outputs; Output suf- 
ficient to drive any amplifier: and 
distortion low enough to make it useful 
in high precision lest measurements. 

How it works 

The frequency generator uses a dual 
op amp IC. the TL082 or an LF353, to 
produce the basic waveforms. The first 
of the two op amps in the [C is used as 
an oscillator, the frequency of which 
can he set by means of potentiometer 
P2: its range depends on the value of 
the capacitor C3 and is selected by 
means of switch SI. Trimpol PI is 
used to adjust the duty cycle of the os- 
cillator. The second op amp is an inte- 
grator that converts the triangular 
waveform produced by the oscillator 
to a square one, a 5(Wi duty cycle. Po- 
tentiometer P4 iv used to adjust the 
amplitude of the square wave signal. 
Potentiometer P3 is used to adjust the 
amplitude of the triangular waveform. 
The signal from the output of the os- 
cillator is taken to the circuit designed 
around the two transistors to he con- 
22 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ Jan/Feb 2000 

verted from a triangular wave to a si- 
nusoidal wave. The two trimpots P5 
and P6 are used to adjust the symmetn 
shape of the positive half and the nega- 
tive half portions of the sine wave sig- 
nal lav the best symmetry and min- 
imum distortion. P7 is the potentiom- 
eter that adjusts the output level for 
this waveform. 

As you can see, the circuit consists 
of fairly basic building blocks with in- 
dependent adjustments for every one 
of them, which makes this a very ver- 
satile and easy-to-operale instrument. 
The power supply is also incorporated 
on the circuit board in two ways. If 
you want to use a 1 2 VAC @ 0*05 A or 
more, use diodes D4. D5 and capaci- 
tors Cl3. CI4 as shown. If you want to 
use a 24 VAC @ 0.05 A or more trans- 
former, use all four diodes D4, D5, D6, 
and D7 as shown and omit C 1 3, C 1 4. 


I assembled my prototype on a PC 
board, but a perfboard can also be 

First of all, let us consider a few ba- 
sics in building electronic circuits on a 
printed circuit hoard. The board is 
made of a thin insulating material clad 

with a thin layer of conductive copper 
that is shaped in such a way as to form 
the necessary conductors between the 
various components of the circuit, The 
use of a properly designed printed cir- 
cuit board is very desirable, as it 
speeds up construction considerably 
and reduces the possibility of making 

Soldering the components to the 
board is the only way to build your cir- 
cuit, and your success or failure de- 
pends tm the way you do the job. This 
work is not very difficult, and if you 
stick to a few hasic rules, you should 
have no problems. The soldering iron 
that vou use must be lishu and its 
power should not exceed the 25-30 
watt range. The tip should be tine, and 
must be kept clean at all times. For this 
purpose, you can use some very handy 
specially made sponges that are kept 
wet, and from time to time you can 
wipe the hot tip on them to remove all 
the residues that tend to accumulate, 
DO NOT file or sandpaper a dirts or 
wornout tip. If the lip cannot be 
cleaned, replace il. There are many dif- 
ferent types of solder on the market. 
and you should choose a good quality 
one that contains the necessary flux in 
















102 J+ Q? 

— i i '04 1 



1/4 A 


120 VAC 



Fig . /. Schematic. P2 is frequency control Not shown are CI 5 (OJ fiF, 200 V) and a bidirectional red-red LED that can be mounted off 
the board in series across (ahead of) the primary windings ofTL 

its core, to ensure a perfect joint every 
time. DO NOT use soldering flux apart 
from that which is already included in 
your solder. Too much flux can cause 
many problems, and is one of the main 
causes of circuit malfunctions. Never- 
theless, if you have to use extra flux, as 
is the case when you have to tin copper 
wires, clean the area very thoroughly 
after you finish your work. 

In order to solder a component cor- 
rectly, you should do the following; 

• Clean the component leads with a 
small piece of emery paper. 

• Bend them at the correct distance 
from the components body, and insert 
the component in its place on the 

• You may sometimes find a compo- 
nent with heavier gauge leads than 
usual, that are too thick to enter in the 
holes of the PC board. In this case* use 
a mini-drill to enlarge the holes 
slightly. Do not make the holes too 
large, as this is going to make solder- 
ing difficult afterwards. 

• Take the hot iron and place its tip 
on the component lead while holding 
the end of the solder wire at the point 
where the lead emerges from the 
board. The iron tip must touch the lead 
slightly above the PC board. 

• When the solder starts to melt and 
flow, wait till it evenly covers the area 

around the hole and the flux boils and 
gets out from underneath the solder. 
The whole operation should not take 
more than 5 seconds. Remove the iron 
and let the solder cool naturally, with- 
out blowing on it or moving the com- 
ponent. If everything was done 
properly, the surface of the joint will 
have a bright metallic finish to it, and 
its edges should be smoothly ended on 
the component lead and the board 
track. If the solder looks dull or 

cracked, or has the shape of a blob, 
then you have made a dry joint and 
should remove the solder (with a sol- 
der pump, or a solder wick) and redo it 

• Take care not to overheat the 
tracks, as it is very easy to lift them 
from the PC board and break them, 

■ When soldering a sensitive compo- 
nent, it is good practice to hold the 
lead from the component side of the 
board with a pair of long-nose pliers, 

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73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb2000 23 

Fig. 2. Circuit hoard fail pattern. 

to divert any heat that could possibly 
damage the component. 

• Make sure that vou do not use 
more solder than is necessary, as you 
are running the risk of short-circuiting 
adjacent tracks on the board, espe- 
cially if they are very close together. 

• Alter vou finish with your work, 
cut off the excess of the component 
leads on the foil side and clean the 
board thoroughly with a suitable sol- 
vent to remove all of the excess flux 
residues thai still remain on it. 

The function generator is relatively 
easy to build, and if you follow the in- 
structions carefully, you should have 
no difficulties. Once you have the 
board and all of the components, you 
can begin by following the parts place- 
ment diagram > Mount all the resistors, 
then all the capacitors, then the diodes 
and semiconductors. Connect shielded 
cable from the board to the potentiom- 
eters, as well as to the output terminals 
and the range switch (SI). Then the 
rest of the wiring can be done. 

. . * 



'*- , 
24 V 


hag r 

I w J J 

i m\Q «ioo 

R4 A3 R5 

\© i -5 

g, CHDfO 

Fig, J. Pans layout. 

24 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

Pay close attention to the 
orientation of the polarized 
components such as diodes, 
transistors, electrolytic capaci- 
tors, zeners. and so forth, in 
addition to the orientation of 
the DC source, which, if in- 
correct, can damage the IC 
and transistors. 

Be sure to double check 
your work when you are done. 
Once you have your own func- 
tion generator built, you must 
decide on a power source, I 
powered mine from a AC 
adaptor I had available. If you 
don't have one of these in your 
junk box, a small 24 
volt unit The circuit draws 
very little current, so any 
adaptor rated at a suitable current will 
do. and you're in business. 

The only difficulty you may have is 
with the components that are not 
mounted on the printed circuit board, 
namely the potentiometers, the 

w -ft 

switches, and the outputs. As men- 
tioned, these should be connected with 
the rest of the circuit with shielded 
cables which should be kept as short as 
possible to avoid introducing noise and 
distortion to the output signal. 
Again, start building the circuit from 
the least sensitive components 
to make sure that you don't 
damage any components dur- 
ing soldering, The first com- 
ponents to be soldered should 
be the output pins and the IC 
socket. Identify the resistors 
and solder them one by one 
into their places. Do the same 
with the capacitors, taking 
care to insert the electrolytic* 
the right way in. Solder the 
trimpots, the diodes, and the 
transistors, taking care to put 
them in the right way and not 
to overheat them. 

Make a careful visual in- 
spection of the board to ensure 
that you have not made any 
mistakes, then insert the IC 
carefully so as not to bend the 
leads as you put it in its 
socket. Connect the potenti- 
ometers, the range selector 


Technical Specifications 

Frequency Response 
25-25,000 Hz in 3 ranges 

Range A 

Range B 

Range C 


25-250 Hz 

250-2500 Hz 

2500-25,000 Hz 

0.5% max. 

Output Voltage 

Sine & Triangular 


Square wave 

10 V RMS (16 VPP) 

Output impedance @ 600 ohms 

Table L Technical specifications. 

switch, and the output pins as we 
described above, and the function 
generator is ready for testing. 


If you have an oscilloscope handy, 
connect the output of the generator to 
its input. Use a 1 2 V or a 24 V trans- 
former to supply the generator with 
power, and adjust the trimpots to get 
the best possible waveshape on the 
screen. The potentiometer PI should 
be adjusted first, till the square wave is 
perfectly adjusted for a 50-50% duty 
cycle. Then, by means of trimpots P5 
and P6, you should adjust the wave- 
shape of the sinusoidal waveform till it 
is symmetrical and as smoothly shaped 
as possible. 

If you do not have an oscilloscope 
on hand and you only want to use the 
instrument as a general purpose audio 
generator, you will not be very wrong 
if you set the trimpots in their middle 
position. However, if you do so, distor- 
tion is likely to be higher and the in- 
strument is no longer reliable for 
precision measurements. 

If it doesn't work 

• Check your work for possible dry 
joints, bridges across adjacent tracks, 
or soldering flux residues that usually 
cause problems. 

• Check again all the external con- 
nections to and from the circuit board 
to see if there is a mistake somewhere. 

• See that there are no components 

Parts List 

All resistors are 1/4 W 5% unless 
otherwise noted, values in ohms 



R3, R4 ? H7, 
RS. RIB, R20 






R10, R11, 
R17, 818 









1 meg 







tinea/ pot (front panel) 

P3 r P4 


fog pot (front panel) 









log pot (front panel) 

All capacitors are 50 W VDC unless 
otherwise noted, values in (iF 




polyester or mylar 



2S V electrolytic 



polyester or mylar 



polyester or mylar 

C5-C7, C9 


25 V electrolytic 



35 V electrolytic 

C11 ■ ] 


35 V electrolytic 



16 V elect roly lie 

C13*, C14* 


25 V electrolytic 


1N4148or 1N914 

OZ, D3 

0.5 W 

zener1N961B. 1N5240B, 

D4 r D5 

gen, purp 1N4001, 1N914* 
1N4148, 1N34, 1N270 


same as above 


dual op amp TL082, LF353 


FET 2N3819. 2N3820, MPF- 


NPN 2N3903. 2N3904. 

Miscellaneous: PCB or perfboard, pins, 
IC socket, case, line fuse, xfmr, solder. 

•Note: Use C13, C14 with 12 VAC 
transformer. Use 06, D7 with 24 VAC 

Table 2. Parts list. 

missing or inserted in the wrong 

■ Make sure that all the polarized 
components such as diodes, elcc- 
trolytics, or transistors have been sol- 
dered in the right way, 

• Make sure that the supply has the 
correct voltage. 

• Check your project for faulty or 
damaged components. 


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Back Issues & Reprints 
of 73 Magazine 

Call 800^274-7373 

73 Amateur Radio Today * JatVFeb 2000 25 

Dan Metzger K8JWR 
6960 Steamview 
Lambertville Ml 48144 

Number 26 on your Feedback card 

Read All About It! 

Part 2 of good stuff from The Hertzian Herald. 

So what do you send after WX HR IS ..,? Well there are my ten favorite tech tips ... 
and the story of Rip Van Ham ... and ten (hopefully, non-) shocking safety pointers 
for handling electricity ,,. and ... 

Last night I talked for an hour 
and twenty minutes to Bernie 
on 40 meter CW. Bernie had 

been an engineer on the ED VAC, 
which he staunchly maintained was 
ihe first "real" electronic computet. 
(ENIAC which was in the next room 
at the U. of Pennsylvania, was really 
just an overgrown calculator, he said J 
He gave me all sorts of details about 
the tubes and memory elements used 
in the earliest computers. 

I have had equally enjoyable CW 
ragchews with: 

• Paul, in Ireland, who gave me 
travel tips and sent pictures of his fam- 
ily, and of spots to visit if we come 


• Larry, a state legislator in Texas, 
who was CW mobile. 

■ Prose, whose first rig was a spark 
transmitter in 1 923. and who told me 
what a thrill it had been to work *DX" 
of 25 miles. 

• Ed and Larry, who were landline 
CW ops, and attempted to teach me 
American Morse over the air 

Reprinted with permission from77z? 
Hertzian Herald, newsletter of the 
Monroe County (MI) Radio Communi- 
cations Association ( MCRCA). 
26 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

• Rod and Betty, who were in their 
honeymoon cottage in Canada. (When 
I apologized for intruding, the new 
XYL came back with, NO PROB — 

■ Ty, for whom I was his very first 

And yet I keep running into ops who 
sent RST NAME, and QTH on the 
first round. WX and RIG on the sec- 
ond, and QRU ES 73 on the third. To 
me. radio is communication, and 
you're not really communicating with 
the ham on the other side until you get 
beyond these preliminary and really 
rather repetitive exchanges. 

So what do you send after WX HR 
IS ...? Some of us get so wrapped up 
in the formality of those first two ex- 
changes that we forget how to loosen 
up for the fun that comes after them. 
Here are some icebreakers: 

SINCE 1958. If your ages are similar, 
on the next go-around you can talk 
about common interests: school, kids, 
house-fixing, grandkids, retirement. If 
you both got into radio around the 
same lime, you can compare notes on 

your first rigs. (If you gel hold of an 
old-timer, don't fail to ask about those 
1930s ham stations, or the WWII expe- 
riences — there are some ereat stories 
out there.) 

JR COLLEGE (or whatever you do for 
SCOPE ON FLOOR (or whatever di- 
saster happened to you). Folks all love 
to complain about their jobs. 

ing, or golf, or whatever). Most hams 
have other hobbies, and they love to 
tell you about them. 

TODAY (or whatever you did today, or 
last week). The other ham will surely 
respond with a kid or grandkid or pet 
story- One guy in West Texas seemed 
to take comfort from telling me the 
whole story of how his cat had been 
bitten by a rattlesnake that day, and 
what a good cat it had been. 

(or whatever your favorite modes and 
bands are). I got a real education in 
amateur satellite communications with 
this line once. 



KEY CW ops love their keys more 
than their rigs. I've gotten rhapsodies 
about WWI keys and home-brew bugs 
with this leader 

Contesters and SSB ops may want 
beams and kilowatts, hut you can CW 
ragchew on 100 watts and a dipole. A 
successful technique is to find some- 
one with a good fist and a 599 signal at 
your speed and monitor the QSO for a 
few minutes. If it's nearing its end, call 
one of the stations when they sign. 
This is more likely to get you a 
copyable signal that won't fade on you 
than just calling CQ. Listen on the 
FISTS CW club frequencies — 7,058 
and 14.058. 

So give it a try — send something 
besides QRU after you send WX HR 
IS ... I guarantee you'll find that there 
are almost no boring hams. Every one 
of them has an interesting story, for 
those who have the skill to draw it out 
and the patience to listen. 

Ten tech (no, not Ten-Tec) tips 

Here are my favorite ten tech tips. If 
you have a favorite, perhaps you could 
send it along, and we'll do another col- 
umn of reader tech tips. 

1. If you store a car battery over the 
winter, don't store it on the floor of your 
garage. The air temperature changes by 
20 or 30 degrees from night to day, while 
the floor temperature holds constant. 
Temperature differences between the top 
and bottom of the battery cause differ- 
ences in generated EMF that produce 
internal currents, which discharge the 
battery. Place the battery on a styrofoam 
sheet for thermal insulation from the 

2. If you have to wind an RF coil, 
don't use PVOinsuIated hookup wire. 
PVC has severe dielectric losses at cer- 
tain frequencies which depend on tem- 
perature. I once fought an 80-meter 
home-brew rig for two weeks before I 
replaced the PVC wire in the tank coil 
with enameled magnet wire. 

3. Cheap panel meters with no zero 
adjust can often be re-zeroed by hold- 
ing a soldering gun close and turning it 
on and off. Several tries may be neces- 
sary to get the residual magnetism 

4. Plastic-face meters may accumu- 
late a static charge, making the pointer 
stick. Simply breathe moisture on the 
face to drain the charge* 

5. When measuring resistances be- 
low 10 ohms, be sure to short the leads 
first. If the meter cannot be made to 
read zero, subtract this lead resistance 
from your reading. 

6. Pencil lead is conductive. Never 
mark a circuit board with a pencil. 

7. Torn loudspeaker cones can be re- 
paired with tissue paper soaked in nail 

8. Most DVMs lose accuracy above 
a few kilohertz and are completely 
useless above 10 kHz. Analog VOMs 
are generally reasonably accurate into 
the megahertz range. 

9. The tip bolts on a soldering iron 
loosen with time. If the gun won't 
heat, tighten the bolts. 

10. Operator error is far and away 
the most common cause of service 
calls. If you are called upon to service 
an instrument, don't operate it your- 
self; have the person who called oper- 
ate it so you can spot improper 

Rip Van Ham sleeps 27 years 

Rip Van Ham was a jolly sort, capti- 
vated in his youth by the magic of ra- 
dio and spending long hours as a teen 
sending CW, ragchewing with ham- 
club buddies, and home-brewing the 
"ultimate" 807 rig. But in his 25th year 
his key fell silent and a great sleep 
overcame him, from which he did not 

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73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 27 

awaken until the summer of 1996, 
twenty-seven years later. 

And what an awakening it was! All 
of his buddies on 160-meter AM mo- 
bile were gone, and in their place 
was a crowd of 2- meter FMers using 
things called "repeaters" that made 
strange beep-hoop noises, talked in ro- 
botlike voices, and covered impossible 


And their radios were incredibly 
small; and they had buttons instead of 
knobs on them. Yes, the new hams said 
they used "radios,* 1 In 1969, only CBers 
and BCLs had "radios/" Hams had 
transmitters and receivers — a few 
rich ones had transceivers — but 
they'd be embarrassed to say they had 
a **radio." and the new hams talked 
politics and religion on the air — a 
thing unheard of in 1 969, 

So Rip got himself a radio — a used 
one — btu from a Japanese company. 
The old companies were all gone: 
Hallicrafiers, National. Hammarlund, 
GonseU WRI. -Globe. E,R Johnson. 
Allied-Knight, "King" Collins, even 
Heathkit — all sone. But the new ra- 
dio was incredibly inexpensive, even 
to someone used to 1 969 prices, and it 
wa> far more stable than anvthina he 
had ever used. And, wonder of won- 
ders! It displayed the frequency in 
glowing digits, down to Lenths o( a Kc 
— oops — make that I kHz. 

He tuned to the 40-meter CW band 
and heard guys sending "QRL?" He 
had to look it up in ihe back of hi> \el- 
lowed old log hook. Oh! A great idea, 
but useless in 1969: the answer then 
was always "QRL!" "Yes, the fre- 
quency is busy, they're ALL busy. 
Sandwich yourself in if vou can." 

Then, when Rip looked for the 40- 
meter Novice band he found it moved 
50 kHz. And there he heard a great si- 
lence, and he wondered what had hap- 
pened to the thousands of lads with 
DX-20s and Globe Chiefs and home- 
brew 807s who used to make that part 
of the spectrum a mad cacophonous 
party every night of the week. The 
guys he heard giving their ages were 
all in their 50s. 60s, 70s. even 80s. 
Where were all the kids? 

He sent a tentative CQ. Yes, that was 
still recognized. And the RST — QTH — 
28 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

NAME routine was unchanged. But 
these hams gave honest signal reports. 
He got a 229 from a DX station! Rip 
was used to 599 = Great. 589 = OK, 
579 = weak, and Anything Else = In- 
suit. And they sent N when they meant 
9. And in a raschew someone used SK 
to mean deceased. Rip wondered if 

that came from Silent Key, or 

meaning End Of Work. And another 
new term: Elmer. Never heard that be- 
fore: wonder when it came in. 

Oh, but manv things were still the 
same. Wayne Green was still writing 
his blazing editorials, just like he was 
in 1969. And Lou McCoy was still 
writing antenna-tuner articles. And 
hams still sent "73/" and meant much 
more than "best regards" by it. 

And they still hurled their waves at 
the sky and marveled at how they 
bounced hack to random corners of the 
nlobe as thev wondered who would re- 
ply to their calls. And radio was still 

This will kill vou 

Hello, OMs and YLs. We had a ma- 
jor flood at the home QTH last month, 
engendered by a ruptured washing ma- 
chine hose coupling. (I wish somebody 
had warned me to replace those things 
regularly — $10 could have saved me 
manv hundreds.) Thinking about water 
disasters got me thinking about electri- 
eal disasters, and how to avoid them. 
Here is a grab bag of safety tips. 

■ Electric shock usually kills by 
paralyzing the breathing muscles. It 
follows that most shock victims can 
be saved by simple mouth-to-mouth 
artificial respiration. 

• Most booklets on resuscitation 
talk vaguely about clearing the air- 
way of "foreign material/' Let's speak 
plainly. A common reaction to shock 
is vomiting. You have to clear this 
stuff from the mouth so it isn't 
forced into the lungs. 


• A minoritv of shock cases may cause 
malfunction of the heart or other or- 
gans, but you realK need professional 
training to deal with that. Anyone can 

do the "pinch the nose and blow r air 
into the mouth" trick, 

• If a 3- wire appliance such as a skill 

saw or a microwave oven blows the 
breaker when you plug it in, it may 
have a short from the hot wire to the 
metal case. Don't think you're clever 
if you can get it working by using a 
two- wire extension cord or 2- wire 
adapter plug — the case is still hot! 
Touch that case and a ground point 
(wet floor, faucet, slovetop, etc.) and 
vou* re fried, 

■ When re-terminating 3- wire cords, 
it is a good idea to leave the safety 
ground (green) wire a little longer than 
the others so that it will be ihe last to 
sever in case the cord is strained, 

* Automobile battery explosions are 
much more common than most people 
realize, (In a class of 20. I typically 
find about two students who have been 
involved with one,) Never charge a 
battery in an enclosed area. Charging 
produces hydrogen gas — very explo- 
sive. Open the doors and windows or 
do it outside. 

* When jump-starting a car, make the 
last connection to the negative of the 
car with the good battery, but not at the 
battery terminal. Connect it to the car 
chassis at a place away from the bat- 
tery so when the spark jumps it wont 
be near any explosive gas, 

* When working on cars, take rings 
and watches off. One of my students 
once showed me the melted remains of 
his girlfriend's class ring, and a row of 
blisters down his arm. The ring had 
bridged the 1 2- volt line to the car chas- 
sis when he had thrust his hand under 
the starter to probe for a dropped nut. 
He was lucky it was a girl's thin band 
on his outside little linger, because it 
melted and fell off. If it had been a 
man\s wedding band on the rinn linser 
it would have resulted in an amputa- 

* Electric shock is NEVER a joke. 
What may seem a harmless tickle to 
you could be fatal to someone with a 
heart condition or a pacemaker and 
jokeslers never have absolute control 
over who their victims might be. Even 
young people may have medical con- 
ditions unknown to themselves that 
could make a normally harmless shock 
fatal If there is even a I -in- 10,000 
chance that someone could be harmed, 
the joke is no longer funny. 

Number 29 on your Feedback card 

73 s DX Dynasty Award 

This is the current list of DXDA award winners. The DX Dynasty Award is the most enjoyable DX award around. Any correspondence 
concerning DXDA should he addressed to DXDA. c/o 73 Magazine* 70 Hancock Rd.. Peterborough NH 03458 USA. 




3. KTiA 

4. W3FDU 

5. KA9JOL 

6. WBiBVQ 

7. NW70 
8 AK4H 

9. W3HCW 

13. KA9TNZ 

14. K9GBN 

16. WB3FtVtA 

17, NN6E 

19. N6CGB 

20. K16AN 
22, N4WF 

24. KVV7J 

25. VE6JO 

26. WA41LJV 
28. N4KMY 
30. KSKJN 

33. KY3F 

34. PY2JY 
35 YB5BEE 

36. YB5BEH 

37. WB9SBO 

38. N0AFW 

39. KA9MQM 

40. N3II 

4 ] . W6DPD 

42. KE8GG 

43. VE6V K 

44. KD9RD 

45. W4WJJ 
46 K0HSC 

47. K16GI 

48. IK1APP 

49. KJ4RR 

50. KSMDU 
52 K1DRN 

53. WD8REC 

54. ZL2BLC 

55 VE3EFX 

56. W9MCJ 

57. N61V 
58 KN8D 

59. KC5YQ 

60. WB6ITM 

61. KA2AOT 

62. K4LHH 

63. VE2QO 

64. KE5AT 

65. VV9SI 
66 W30OU 
67, NR2E 
68 KF5PE 

69. N3FBN 

70. KB4SID 

71. N3EZX 

72. IK8GCS 

73. WB4! 

74. NG I S 

75. WB7UUE 

76. HK4EB 

77. K0HFR 

78. N7GMT 


80, KA1LMR 

81 , N8AXA 

82, NM21 
S3. KD l JYB 

84. HC2CG 

85, VEIBXt 
Kft. YC20K 

87. N4GNL 

88. GM3UBF 

89. 5Z4BP 
" 1 10AOF 


92 KA2NRR 

93 5Z4DU 

94 KB8ZM 

95 HK4CCW 
% W2JQ 

97. HC2AOT 

98. WD5N/M 
99 VE1BHR 
100. VE1AGZ 
101 K5AOB 
102. KW2D 
104, WB4ETD 

106. KD3CQ 

107. K4NNK 

108. VI 2DNR 
110. PY30G 
111 VE4ACF 

112. VE4S1 

170. AA6GM 

1)3. PJ2K1 

171. JA0SU 

114. VVB4CKY 




! 1 6. KK4IY 

174. YB8VM 


175. DVIBRM 

U8. N6GCN 

1 76. W0TU 

119 KB1AF 

177. N7CNH 

120. KB8BHE 

178. PY310 


179. YBOZCA 


180. YB0AF 



1 24. WB6FNT 


125. KA0IAR 

183. N1ADE 

126. K9SM 

184. WP4AFA 

127. W6BCQ 

185 KS7V 

128. KASMSL 

186. W20FB 

129. WB4FLB 


130. N7GLT 

188. N5JUW 


189, KA8WAS 

132. KF4GW 

190. 5N0WRE 

133. N4QGH 

I'M AA-Hl' 

134. VE1CBK 

192. JR5KDR 


193. KD2WQ 

136. K6ICS 

194. KA3NIL 


195. WA8YWK 

138. WB0N 

196. VE1ACK 

139. WC7F 


140. F61FE 

198. WBSKYK 



142. KE8LM 

200. N40BI 

143. WA6YOO 


144, VE2MFD 

202. KW2D 

145. N3APQ 


146. 11K1DBO 

204. 1IPSBSZ 

147, NM3V 


148. 1K6GFY 

206. YC3DKN 

149. WB6UAN/M 

207, I3VKW 

150. NK6Z 

208, K2EWA 


209. KD3CR 

152. W90KH 

210. N9GDG 

153. WB5FXT 

2 1 1 KF8K 

154. NB3E 

212. FDIBEG 

155. N2ESP 


156. YU2ETO 

214. N81MZ 


215 KK4YA 




217. KA8YYZ 

160. KD3A1 

218. KA4TMJ 


219, WA9DDC 

162. W9LCR 

220. YJICIS 

163. 8P6SH 


164. KA6SPQ 


165. ZF2KH 

223, KV4B 

166 W6MYV 

224. N51ET 

167. JA8CAQ 

225. WA9WIG 

168. K16WF 

226. N3CDA 

169. K2MRB 

227. KE6KT 

228. IK7DBB 

229. JY5EC 

230. N1ETT 
232. 18IYW 

233. NOISL 

234. KC4BEB 
235 WA7QQI 
236. KAIRJG 

237 OZ9BX 

238 KB4HBH 

239. KA3KWP 

240. NT IT 

24 1 . W4DCG 
242 YC0RX 

243. VE70J 

244. AA4W 

245. N9GMM 

246. KB4HBH 

247. KM4HF 

249. KAIFVY 

250. N2GVB 

25 1 . N2D AO 


253. YB0HZL 

254. N5MBD 

255. N4SNS 

256. KA3TGY 

257. JM3XLY 

258. N4DUV 

259. KA9MRU 

260. KA40TB 
263. WA70ET 

266. N19J 

267. WB9PTN 

268. KR8DAE 

269. W0CL 
270 WB7VUB 

271. JF6TUU 

272. ZY310 

273. KB4VTR 

274. OE6CLD 

275. N7JJQ/DL 3 

276. KK4FB 

277 DU1AUJ 

278 K2EWB 

279. N15D 

280. N2JXC 
28L N01WT 

282. WB3BDH 

283. K1CVF 
284 KA3CXG 
285. KAISPO 

73 Amateur Radio 

286. WA4NWT 

287. KJ40I 

288. KA3UNQ 

289. WB2VMV 

290. KD4M.M 
292. KD9HT 

294. G3KVA 

295. WA4NEL 
296 KA4VZO 
297. N01DT 
299 KD7EO 

300. JH8MWW 

301. KB81CD 

302. JA1CKE 

303. N3GEE 

304. JA5MG 

305. KA1FTU 

306. WA8KMK 

307. N21BW 

308. N4THE 

309. N3CYD 

310. JA4TF 

311. W6YLL 
312 WA1S 

313, KC5WA 

314, N6WK 

316. KG? BO 

317. WB3FQY 

318. WC0A 

319. VE4AMU 

320. YC0MCA 

• - 

322. KB2GLO 
324. K6GCF 
¥25. KC4PCX 

326. KA7EXD 

327. DK9EA 

328. HL5AP 

329. SM7BRO 

330. ON6DP 
331 WA3KKO 

332. KB9AB1 

333. DA2UI 
334 SM0BNK 

335. WA2BMQ 

336. WA0QIT 

337. 5Z4BH 

338. KB9ALG 

339. OA4ANTI 

340. OD5ZZ 

341 VE3ZD 

342 LU2ATR 
343. HL5FRG 

Today • Jan Feb 2000 29 

344. UB5LRS 

345. Nt ICC 

346. UY5XE 

347. PS7AB 

348. 1K4NPC 

349. KD1CT 

350. DUICHD 

351. UB4WZA 

352. LU3CF 

353. G7AZP 

354. VE5AAD 

355. IK3ITX 

356. SM4SEF 

357. N9CPK 

358. VE2JWK 

359. N7JXS 

360. K04VO 

362. JM2DRM 
363. 1K1SLE 

364. JF7QUE 

365. HL5BUV 

366. VE3GLX 

367. N7QXQ 

368. JE6KLR 

369. KK6JY 

370. N2BT 

372. JA3SSB 

373. KB0ADI 

374. 11-50156 

376. EA6AAK 

377. N31HS 

378. N8MOT 

379. KB2NBK 

380. PY2DBU 

382. WB2PPN 

383. JA1-20762/BV 

384. AB4ZD 

385. YC8EMH 

386. WA8RLB 

387. N5VWM 

388. VE7SKB 

389. KB4BCC 

390. VE7GSE 

391. YC8BWN 

392. KN6ER 

393. KD1CJ 

394. G2BFO 

396. VK2EQ 

398. JE1BGL 

399. KF2LC 

400. WV2X 

401. LU5EWG 

402. WA0CLR 

403. VOl UL 

404. VE6AML 

406. WA0CLR 

407. VE3VJC 

408. WA1MKS 

409. JH6FHJ 

413. KP4WN 

414. KD6MOS 

415. KJ7CM 

416. JH1TED 

417. JN6MIC 

418. BU7FC 

419. DL1EMO 

420. KD4TWP 

422. JA7JI 

423. W5RUK 

424. LU30JZ 

426. 7L1MFS 

427. ON4BCM 

428. W0UHL 

429. N4WJV 

430. LU5DSE 
432. DU1SAN 

434. K3BSA 

435. CP8AK 

436. K8IHQ 

437. JA7NU2 

438. HL5FXP 

439. N9PM 

440. K9UQN 

441. WA7SNY 

442. HL5YAW 

443. DS5WQT 

444. JH7GZF 

445. K6CIL 

446. JK1QJE 

447, WA8NPX 



2. N4WF 

3, N6GCB 

4, K9FD 

5. N0AFW 

7. WB1BVQ 

8. KA2AOT 

9. KI6G1 

10. N7GMT 

12. IK1APP 

13. VE6JO 

14. VE4ACF 

15. WB4I 

16. DC1IYU 

17. KE2CG 

19. WB6FNI 

20, KSMDU 

22. KB6IUA 

23. WB5FXT 

24. YU2EJU 

25. IK5IIU 

26. KE8LM 

27. KA1ION 

28. KA6SPQ 

29. W6MW 

30. JA8CAQ 

3 1 . K16WF 

32. JA0SU 

33. WD5N 

34. W2SV 
36, F6TFE 

38. WP4AFA 

39. 5N0WRE 

40. KD2WQ 

42. N5JUJ 

43. 9Q5NW 


46. KD3CR 

47. N8EV1Z 

48. G0FWG 

49. N2FPB 

50. KE6KT 

5 1 . OZ9BX 

52. NJ1T 

53. CE1Y1 

54. YB0HZL 

55. JN3XLY 

56. KA9MRU 

57. CE72K 

58. KB8DAE 

59. K2EWB 

60. NI5D 

62. KA40TB 

63. WB2VMV 

65. KD9HT 

66. KA3NIL 

67. N01DT 

68. KA1TFU 

69. KA4TMJ 

70. JA4TF 

71. KA3UNQ 

72. KB8ZM 

73. K2EWA 

74. WA1S 

75. PY40Y 

76. WC0A 

77. OZ1FNX 

78. KA7EXD 

79. ON6DP 

90. N6WK 

91. WA3KKO 

92. KB9ABI 

93. SM0BNK 

94. WA0QTT 

96. OA4ANR 

97. OD5ZZ 

98. VE3ZD 

99. HL5FRG 

100. UB5LRS 

102. KD1CT 

103. DUICHD 
105, 1K3ITX 
106. VE2JWK 


& Computer Show 

Sunday, March 12 

Indiana State Fairgrounds 
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30 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

John A. Kuecken KE2QJ 
2 Round Trail Drive 
Pittsford NY 14534 

Number 31 on your Fe&dback card 

Secrets of Transmission Lines 

Part 6: The Smith Chart. 

In the last chapter, we looked at the behavior of transmission lines under steady-state 
conditions, and paid particular attention to the variation of impedance along the line 
for various termination conditions. In the experiment we noted the repetition of the 
termination impedance every half-wave as well as the cycling of the impedance be- 
tween Zo*VS\S/R and Zo/VSWR, In this chapter, we are going to look at what happens 
between the pure resistance points. 

n the previous work, we showed simplify the printing of the equations 
the expressions for the voltage and we define 
current along the line. From these 

P = 2*Kfl 

expressions previously given, you can 

obtain the expression: 

Zx= Ex/ix 
eqn (6- 1 ) 

This simply says that at a point x 
along the line, the impedance is given 
by the voltage at that point divided by 
the current at that point. Bear in mind 
that both voltage and current can have 
forward and reflected components and 
may have real and imaginary parts. 

The previously stated expressions 
for Ex and ix can be substituted into 
this expression to develop the equation 
for Zx. The actual manipulation is too 
Ion u- winded lor this treatment; how- 
ever, for those interested, my version 
of it may be found in Exploring Anten- 
nas and Transmission Lines by Per- 
sonal Computer, published by Van 
Nostrand Reinhold, New York. This 
book is now out of print, but still is in 
the possession of a number of hams 
and libraries. Other more current texts 
also carry the discussion. 

As another shorthand notation to 



X = wavelength in the medium 

It is also common to refer to the po- 
sition j along the line as " t n rather than 
*V* as we have been doing; however 
for the purposes of the computer pro- 
gram to follow, we will retain the "x". 

Using these conventions, we may 

7 = 

z JZ^rostpxll + U+Zp+sinfpx)] 

* [Z *cos(Px)l + [j*Z,*sin("px)] 


Z L is the terminating impedance 

Z is as defined in (6-1) 

p is as defined in (6-2) 

This is the complete expression for 
the impedance at any point "x" on the 
transmission line. Note that it has real 
and imaginary {reactive; remember 

chapter 2!) parts and that the terminat- 
ing element Zi can have real and 

imaginary parts as well. 

For a particularly interesting case, 
let us set Zi = (that is, the end of 

the line is perfectly short-circuited). 
For the shorted line Zi = 0, the upper 
left and lower right terms are zero. 

„ JO + t^Zo + sinfBxjl 

Z* = z *m-4^ — „ ,, J 1 


lZ *cos(px)] + 

Z % =j#Z *lan(px) 

Equation (6-5) follows from the fact 
that sin(a)/co5(a) = tan(a). 

The tangent function is such that if 
(b*x) = 45 degrees, then Zx = j*Zo. In 
other words, a shorted section of line 
an eighth of a wave long behaves like 
an inductor with a reactance equal to 
Zo ohms. At the half-wave point, the 
value of the tangent goes to in Unity 
and the line section or stub looks like 
an open circuit, as we noted with the 
experiment in the previous chapter. As 
a matter of fact, the tangent changes 
algebraic sign just beyond a half 
wave and the stub looks like a parallel 
73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 31 

resonant circuit. These properties of 
the shorted stub are widely used in im- 
pedance matching. 

The Smith Chart 

Before the advent of the program- 
mable calculator and the personal 
computer, the principal tool for solv- 
ing transmission line problems was the 
Smith Chart, introduced by PH. Smith 
Of Bell Labs in 1939. This graphical 
solution was a boon to telephone and 
radio engineers. 

For the power utility engineer, the 
transmission line equations had to be 
taken into account only when working 
with very long transmission lines of 
hundreds of miles or more. Also, there 
was usually only one frequency to be 

considered. In these infrequent cases, 
the transmission line equations were 
not too onerous. 

For the telephone or radio engineer, 
on the other hand, the matter was more 
pressing. The telephone man had to 
deal with a wide range of frequencies 
and lines of moderate length, and, for 
radio work, even cables a few feet in 
length could show considerable im- 
pedance transformation, as we saw in 
our experiment Having to solve the 
transmission line equations for a large 
number of frequencies using only a 
pad, pencil, and slide rule was tedious 
and time-consuming. The simple 
graphical solutions made possible by 
the Smith Chart were a welcome relief 
Even today, when computing facilities 
are common features of nearly any 

j5fj2S !? S Si! : * s i \ t i £ I S £ * ftelj 

g«ggf*.. .I...:* ? S s ? , s Jb. ^ c. , ? = * J I a s s a g s i 3£ : 



B n □ 

Fig. J, 77it* 5jtuWi C/jarf, impedance coordinates, 50-ohm characteristic impedance, 
32 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb2000 

antenna or RF lab. the Smith Chart is 
still used as the common way of display- 
ing impedance/frequency plots. 

An example of the usefulness of the 
Smith Chart can be obtained by con- 
sidering the following questions, 

1 , With a given impedance or admit- 
tance termination, at what point on the 
line will a lossless reactance cancel the 
reflected wave? What size reactance is 

2, Having measured the impedance- 
frequency plot at one point on a trans- 
mission line, what does the plot look 
like at another point on the line? 

3, What is a given impedance when 
transformed into an admittance? 

With the Smith Chart, questions I and 
3 can be answered with a draftsman's 
compass and a straightedge, and ques- 
tion 2 requires only a small amount of 

The Smith Chart i> presented in all 
its glory in Fig- 1. At first glance, it 
can be a bit terrifying; however, we 
will look at the makeup a step at a 
time, and it will be a bit more simple to 

To begin with, you will note that 
there is only one straight line on the 
chart, right up the center. All the rest 
are circles, and technically the center 
line is also a circle of infinite radius. 
Smack dab in the middle of the chart is 
the characteristic impedance of the 
chart. If we arc working with 50-ohm 
coax, then the center of the chart is 50 
ohms. (For other characteristic imped- 
ances, they also print normalized 
charts with the center labeled one. 
Then, you multiply all the readings on 
the chart by the characteristic imped- 
ance. For instance, with our 300-ohm 
twinlead. you would multiply all 
readings by 300. ) 

The center line represents the locus 
of all pure resistances. Anyplace else 
on the chart has a reactive element. 
The center or pivot point is very im- 
portant for the chart, AH constant 
VSWRs pivot about the center of the 
chart. For example, if we have a 2:1 
VSWR on the line then we know that 
as we move along the line, the imped- 
ance will pass through 25 ohms and 
1 00 ohms A circle centered on the 
50-ohm point will describe all the 

¥ J 

^*^W ^^ V \ r 

w\\i i f /5^^?v\\ l \i( I / y 



-J30 Ny \ 

/ / +J30 

-j40 ^\\\ 

1 //\^ + J 40 

-J50 ^^NN\\ 

\[//^~~~ + i 50 

-j75 ■ ^M 

K-" ^+j75 

-J 100 '^^-^ 


f7£. 2. Tfte Smith Chart makeup. Top: 
Resistance curves are shown in 10-ohm 
steps for R<50 and 25-ohm steps for 
R>50. Bottom: Reactance curves. 

impedances the line goes through. A 
quarter wave on the transmission line 
represents a half turn on the chart; the 
lull circle represents a half wave, and 
the impedance repeats itself just as we 
saw in the last chapter 

Jusl think about this for the moment 
By simply drawing the VSWR circle, 
sve solved the transmission line equa* 
lions for that load or termination for all 
possible line lengths. 

Fig, 2 shows some of the resistance 
circles and some of the reactive circles 
on the chart, You will note that the 
zero reactance curve is the centerline 
and the reactance has a non-zero value 
everywhere else. The resistance circles 
and the reactance circles are said to be 
orthogonal, meaning that they always 
cross at right angles. Also note that all 
of the circles pass through the R/Zo - 
infinity point. 

Fig* 3 shows how the circles are 
generated. Looking at Fig. 3(a), we 
can see that if we terminate the line 
in a short circuit at R/Zo = zero, then 
a quarter of a wavelength down the 

line we will have R/Zo = infinity, and 
another quarter wave takes us back 
to the zero point The R = circle is 
the outer periphery of the chart. All 
possible impedances with real and 
reactive parts ranging from zero to 

infinity can be plotted on the Smith 

Also given on Fig, 3 are the formu- 
las for generating a Smith Chart in ad- 
mittance terms. It is often convenient 
to work in admittance terms, since it is 


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73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 33 

usually easier to place corrective or 

impedance matching elements in shunt 
across a coaxial cable rather than in se- 
ries. From a practical standpoint you 
can cut the cable and install a 4t tee" and 
hang a shunt element there more easily 
than you can insert a series element The 

reciprocal of 50 ohms is 0.020 mhos or 

An example of impedance matching 
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Next, lei us consider an example of 

matching using 
the Smith Chart. 
We will work in 
admittance because 
I intend to do the 
matching with a 

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34 73 Amateur Radio Today 


Jan/Feb 2000 

stub of line of the same Yo (1/Zo) as 
the line. The example is shown in Fig, 
4. We start with a chart having a 20 
millimho center and plot the load on it, 
which is given as 10 + j2 mmhos. 
Next, we draw the VSWR circle. Only 
part of it is shown, for clarity. We ro- 
tate the arc until it meets the 20 mmho 
circle. The rotation is clockwise to- 
ward the generator and counterclock- 
wise away from the generator. Next, 
we lay a straightedge from the center 
to the circular scale on the outside of 
the chart. The original load point reads 
.02 wavelengths and the point where 








R/Zq = 



R/Zq = * 




R/Zq = 


R/Zq= » 





Fig. 3. Further makeup of the Smith Chart. 

—FT C R =2A 

A = 

1 + 


or A = 

1 + 

1 + 




Bd — — or Bp — — — 
X B 

the VSWR curve meets the 20 mmhn 
circle is 0.154 wavelengths toward the 
generator Therefore, the point to place 
the stuh is 0.154 - .02 = 0.134 wave- 
lenuths toward the venerator 

Ai this point, the admittance is 20 + 
JI4.2 mmho. so we need to supply a 
shunt element of - j 14.2 mmho to 
match the line. Note that when work- 
ing in admittance, the signs of the 
susccp- lances are reversed with respect 
to impedances: that is, inductance is -j 
and capacitance is +j. So for our 
matching stub, we want an inductance. 
We can find the length required by go- 
ing to the infinite conductance point (a 
short circuit) and rotating toward the 
generator around ihe periphery of the 
chart until we reach the -j 14.2 loca- 
tion. Since we started at 0.25 wave- 
lengths, the final point 0.402 
wavelengths toward the generator 
means thai the stub should be 0.402 - 
0.2? = 0.152 wavelengths lone. The 
stub thus applied will yield an imped- 
ance of .20 + jO mmho or 50 + jO 
ohms. Of course, both of these lengths 
are in line wavelengths. If polyethyl- 
ene cable is used, the physical length 
will be only about 65 *# of free space 

Transforming from impedance to 
admittance is the equivalent of going 
from a series circuit to a parallel cir- 
cuit. On a Smith Chart, it is easily per- 
formed graphically. Use a normalized 
chart marked unity at the center. Plot 
the impedance point by dividing each 
component by the Zo. For example. 50 
- ■ j I ( H I would become I - j2. Plot the re- 
sult on the normalized chart. Next, 
draw the VSWR circle centered on the 
chart and through the point. Draw the 
diameter through the point. Read the 
values at the other side of the circle 
and multiply the result by Yo, in this 
case 20 mmlios The result for the ex- 
ample will be 4 + jH mmho. 

The experiment 

Using the transmission line setup 
constructed for the previous chapter, 
terminate the line in a 150-ohm resis- 
tor. Next, take a piece of aluminum foil 
about 2 inches wide, and wrap it 

Continued on page 59 

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Fig. 4. Admittance coordinates, 20-millimho characteristic admittance. 

73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 35 

On the Couer 

Number 36 on your feedback card 

by Dave Ingram K4TWJ 

On our cover, Jessica Reinhardt KD6ARA (in auto) and Allison Hanson KF6MTG (standing) 
show us the route to big-time FMing on a limited budget Jessica is working South American 
amateurs on 10 FM with an Alinco DR-MQ3sx transceiver, while Allison checks out area 2 
meter /70cm action with an Alinco DJ-V5TDC. Now, if we can get the girls to interconnect 
their transceivers through a pair of quick-brew VOX circuits plugged into mike and speaker 
sockets, we will also have a neat crossband repeater with globe-spanning range. Yes, and it 
will have a couple of the best-looking control ops on the band at the helm. 

Photo A. Melissa Reinhardt KD6HfT and Jeff Reinhardt AA6JR 
sttpen'ise the photo shoot for this month's covet; done by Jim 
Paliungas of Pal imor Studios. Camarillo CA, The Reinhanhs op- 
erate Reinhardt & Reinhardt Advertising, hu\< a general-purpose 
marketing firm located in Agoitra Hills CA. Besides several non- 
ham radio clients, they have done work for Alinco, AOR, and 
Kantmnics. Both principals are active hams and enjoy many as- 
pects of the hobby, including HF, VHE and digital modes, i Photo 
by Jessica Reinhardt KD6ARA) 

36 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

In this issue, you* II 
find a feature re- 
view of the DR- 
M03 on page 1 N, 
and an expanded 
discussion on 10 
FM beginning on 
page 39 with Steve 
Nowak's KE8YN/ 
4 4< On the Go" mo- 
bile column. Sorry, 
guys — neither girl 
would nive out her 
phone number. You 
will just have to 


catch them on the 
air (the hand and 
mode should be ob- 

So whal is the big 
attraction of 10 FM? 

It combines the 
quie Land .squelched 
rig monitoring capa- 
bilities like those of 
2 meters with the 
range of 10 meters. 
Since it is one MHz 
above usual 10 
meter CW and SSB 
activities, ihc MUF 
(Maximum Usable 
Frequency) tends to 
favor 10 FM durins 
regular band open- 

ings. Asa result, even low power setups with 
simple antennas "get ouf great on 10 FM, 
A small 10 FM transceiver is also more af- 
fordable and easier to mount in an auto 
than a "do-il-air rig. Are you getting anx- 
ious to trv 1 FM, £un2? Terrific ! Go for it! 
The FM talkie Allison is holding in our 
cover photo also warrants favorable men- 
tion. It is a brand-new version of Alinco's 
DJ-V5T hand-held FM transceiver that op- 
erates 2 meters mid 70cm. plus has extend- 
able receive coverage from 76 to 999 MM/ 
(less cell frequencies, naturally). This spe- 
cial DJ-V5 version is unique, as it has a 
clear blue plastic ease so you can whip 
out your pocket magnifier and watch those 
tiny electrons flow- 
ing during operation 
(well, that's a good 
humor thought any- 
way!). IMS special 
version is also 
geared to operate on 
reudilv available 
"AA" alkaline cells, 
so batteries and/or a 
charger are not in- 
cluded — a fact that 
makes the little 
gem's price even 
more appealing. Who 
could resist such a 
deal!? Yes* and re- 
member you saw it 
first right here in the 
new 73! 

Cover Cash 

We are always looking for high-quality 
color prints or slides for use on our 
cover. You could iVi use a little extra 

Contact Joyce Sawtelle at: 

73 Magazine 
70 Hancock Rd. 

Peterborough. NH 03458 


Photo 8. 

Alinco s 

Neuer srv die 

continued from page 4 

self-destructing, this should be one heck 
of a yean It's a great way to celebrate 40 
years of publishing! 

Yes, you can help! Vd like to hear 
which of our articles and columns you 
enjoy the most, and which the least, I'll 
share your votes with Dave. I hope 
you'll talk about 73 on the air so we can 
build up the readership. You can E-mail 
me at w2nsd@aolcom, or snail me at 70 
Hancock Road, Peterborough NH 03458. 
Or even fax me at (603) 588-3205. 


The obit for Jean Shepherd K20RS 
made the NH papers. He died "of natural 
causes" at 78. It's a terrible shame for 
the world to fose a talent like S hep's. His 
unique radio show entertained millions 
nightly for 2\ years over WOR. And be- 
fore that from Cincinnati and Philly. His 
books are wonderful, and are recom- 
mended in my Secret Guide to Wisdom 
as four star stress reducers. His stories in 
Playboy won him their humor prizes two 
or three years in a row* His movies are 
great, too. I hope you've seen his movies 
about Christmas and the Fourth of July, 

Shep and I used to get together for 
dinner in New York before his program, 
or he and his wife Joan would come out 
on weekends for a day on my boat. I 
even taught him to water ski, and we'd 
have evening picnics on a Jamaica Ba> 
beach, with him telling stories, 

Anyone who ever heard Shep giving a 
talk at a hamfest will never forget it. 

But, to die at only 78! I hadn't heard 
from him for the last couple of years, so 
I didn't know he was sick, or 1 would 
have sent him a copy of my Secret Guide 
to Health, Anyone who follows my in- 
structions isn't going to die at 78 of 
"natural causes/' Or at 98 either Maybe 
128. So we might have had 50 more 
years to enjoy Shep*s creative mind. We 
all have suffered a loss. 

If you are unfortunate enough to have 
missed hearing Shep's radio programs, 
he was a humorist, along the line of Gar- 
rison Keillor and his Lake Wobegon sto- 
ries. Unless your sense of humor has 
rusted out through disuse, you* II enjoy 
Garrison's books and his weekly broad- 
casts as much as I do. 

Unlike An Bell, Shep had no guests 
on his show. And no script. He just 
winged it. night after night, entertaining 
millions of his "night people/' Shep 
talked about his childhood days in Gary, 
Indiana, life around the steel mills, and 
the foibles of his "o(d man," mother, and 
younger brother 

He made one of the lop news stories of 

the year when he was fired by WOR. 
Some question had arisen about the po- 
tential for his program to sell products, 
so Shep asked the listeners to suggest 
some product he could sell, just to prove 
the power of his show. Someone sug- 
gested a soap bar, so Shep asked his lis- 
teners to go out the next day and buy a 
bar of thai particular brand of soap. Ev- 
ery store on the East Coast was cleaned 
out the next day. But rather than using 
this as a sales tool to sell more ads for 
the program, the WOR management was 
furious that he'd promoted a non- 
advertiser's product and fired him. 
Thousands of his fans descended on the 
studios, down on Broadway, forcing 
them to hire him back to stop the riot. 

Then there was Shep's great I, Liber- 
tine hoax. Shep had tried to find a book 
he wanted in a book store, but they 
looked the title up in the Books In Prim 
catalog and said there was no such book. 
So Shep got even. He had his listeners 
write in, suggesting the title for a nonex- 
istent book. The winner was /, Libertine, 
by Frederick R. Ewing. Shep then had 
his audience go inio every book store 
they could find and ask for the book. 
Sure enough, within days the book wa* 
on the New York Times best-seller list. 

So Bantam books called him and said 
it was time for him to write the book. 
Shep got together with science-fiction 
writer Ted Sturgeon and they wrote the 
book, which was an instant best -seller. 
That was S hep's first book. 

By a coincidence, Ted's brother Peter 
was the chap who called me to see if I'd 
be interested in working with him to 
start an American chapter of the British 
group, Mensa. Peter, along with a couple 
other early Mensa members, met, 
elected me the secretary, and thaf s how 
American Mensa got started. The next 
few meetings were at my home in 
Brooklyn, Both Peter and I got fed up 
with Mensa politics and dropped out, 
Peter and 1 still correspond, though he is 
now living in Vienna, 

Seiendipiiously, a friend found a source 
for tapes of Shep's radio shows from the 
1965 and 1975 eras. Very reasonably 
priced, loo, at $60 for a set of 12 90- 
minute tapes. Check out wwwjntercalL 
nct/-jsadur/shepcai,htm for Max Schmid's 
catalog. For more Shep stuff, check out 

We lost track of each other when I 
moved from Brooklyn to New Hamp- 
shire in 1962 and Shep moved from the 
upper east side of Manhattan to The Vil- 
lage, divorced Joan, put on a lot of 
weight, grew a beard, and enjoyed the 
young chick perks of stardom. 

Hamfest Speakers 

A letter from Dr, Robert Suding 

W0LMD complained: "Dayton and sev- 
eral other ham conventions have lost 
sight of the essentials* They don't adver- 
tise. They treat speakers like the conven- 
tion was doing them a favor by letting 
them speak. Dayton used to treat speak- 
ers royally, free tickets to banquet, etc. 
This last year I spoke on SSTV, as usual. 
Only the session moderator, W9NTP, got 
tickets to the banquet. But it was a bless- 
ing. I heard that during the meal they 
had some acid rock group blasting away 
at 120 dB. Blew out all the moderators' 
hearing aids. When the band ended there 
was no audience! I had a nice quiet dinner 


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73 Amateur Radio Today • JarVFeb 2O00 37 

in Troy, Ohio, Will I ever talk at Dayton 
again? You gotta be kidding-" 

It is very discouraging to a speaker to 
take the three or (bur days off to speak at 
a hamfest or convention and then find 
just a few people in the audience, Why? 
Mainly because so few of the attendees 
know the speaker is speaking. A sad fact 
is that virtually no one takes the Lime lo 
read the hamfest program book. It goes 
into the literature bag to be read later. A 
later that, unfortunately for the sucker 
companies who've bought ads in the book, 
never comes. Oh, I used to advertise in 
convention programs, but I didn't get 
any subscriptions as a result. None. I 
found that hams don't read program 

Few hamfests bother to put up posters 
telling who is speaking, when and 
where, and even fewer make public ad- 
dress announcements. I probably made 
lifetime enemies in Atlanta when I re- 
ported on i he last Atlanta hamfest I at- 
tended, where I counted the attendance 
at the various speaking sessions. It went 
from zero to about a dozen Tor most 
talks. And the same goes for Dayton, 
where it has never been easy for attendees 
to get speaker information. 

I used lo pull a couple hundred people 
for my talks, but IMI bet that if the 
Hamvention had done some serious pro- 
motion Vd have pulled a couple thou- 
sand. And there seldom was any time 
that the Hamvention officials made me 
feel appreciated or special Last year I 
was invited to speak at the Peoria 
Hamfest and they did it right, despite 
their having lo make do with a poor 
hamfest site. They paid my expenses of 
getting there and gave me three speaking 
opportunities, each with a good crowd, 
and made it clear that they really appreci- 
ated me coming. 

I asked Shep K20RS why he didn't 
give more talks at hamfests, His talks 
have always been class- A entertainment. 
He advised me to charge at least $1,000 
to give a talk. He said that unless the 
hamfest committee has to pay for you to 
come, you don*t get much promotion 
from them, nor any consideration. 

So I started charging to talk at hamfests 
and, sure enough, when they were paying 
me $1,000 plus expenses, they made damned 
sure in their hamfest promotion that ev- 
eryone knew when and where I'd be 
speaking. The result was packed houses. 

Bob Heil K9EID, who is a real show- 
man, did this lor the hamfest he orga- 
nized in St. Louis and it pulled in a huge 
crowd, I think Bob had over 2,000 in the 
auditorium that day for my talk. 

Hamfests should he using ham super 
stars to build bigger attendance. We have 
hams such as Dave Bell W6AQ, Art Bell 
W60BB, Ken Miller K6IR, Joe Walsh 

38 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

WA6AQU, and Ross Adey K6UI, who 
should be headlining at ham conven- 
tions. And Bob Suding W0LMD. And, 
most certainly, Lester Earnshaw of 
Kachina. There ar6 a bunch of hams who 
could perk up convention attendance. 
Get on the stick, hamfest organizers. 

fin available if you pay my expenses, 
plus agree to put the $ 1 ,000 speaking fee 
into the hamfest promotion. I'll even 
come a day early if you can line up some 
local radio and TV talk shows for me to 
help promote the hamfest. 


Our stock market has been rising and 
rising, and this despite the mounting 
problems in Asia, plus less than assuring 
conditions in Europe. There are the con- 
tinuing troubles in Yugoslavia, the drain 
upon a Germany trying to assimilate 
basket-case East Germany, the currency 
problems of the new European currency, 
and so on. 

If enough people get worried about 
what some major catastrophe might do 
to our banking system and, just to be 
safe, withdraw a few hundred or even a 
few thousand dollars, that alone could 
trigger a panic. Or if even a relatively 
small number of people decided that, 
just lo be safe, it would be prudent for 
them to get out of the market until they 
are sure that the market is stable, that 
would pffft everything. The stock market 
has always delicately balanced, with even 
slight emotional winds causing serious 

Russia is in terrible shape. China is 
torn between raging business growth and 
the increasing fear of the communist es- 
tablishment that they will lose control. 
Indonesia is in turmoil. Japan hasn't 
come up with any good answers to the 
fundamental weakness of their banks. 
South Africa is crumbling. There are 
mini- wars and serious problems all 
through Africa, with no country looking 
like a good bet for the future. There are 
religious and tribal wars at every turn. 

Then we have the tulip bulb-like in- 
vestments in Web businesses, where ru- 
mors zoom stocks up and down like yo- 
yos. Bill Gates makes or loses a few 
billion dollars every day. 

So, considering all this uncertainty 
and the potential for disaster, where 
should prudent people place their bets? 
Is it better to ride the wave or to bail out? 
Would a person do better holding stocks, 
cash, gold, silver, or ... or what? 

The stock market is at an astronomical 
high and way beyond sustainable prices. 
So, if the market starts correcting, that 
could trigger a sell-off, which would 
drive prices down even faster. And this 
would quickly stop people from buying 

anything but the basic necessities, col- 
lapsing the retailing and manufacturing 
sectors. And their downturn of expected 
profits would feed the market selling 

Housing starts, car buying, and even 
that newer faster computer purchase 
would be put on hold. 

And all that doesn't factor in the po- 
tential long-range impact of the Y2K 
bug. Our whole civilization is like a 
house of cards, with so many things being 

Campaign Reform 

It ain't gonna happen, Charlie. In a re- 
view of The Corruption of American 
Politic by Elizabeth Drew tn Business 
Week, she has come up with the same so- 
lution to campaign reform as I and Tom 
So well have: just stop re-electing politi- 
cians. As long as you either vote for them 
or don't vote at alh you are endorsing 
campaign corruption. 

Politicians spent $532 million of your 
money on TV ads in the 1998 mid-term 
elections. Lobbyists eagerly give the 
pols money just so they'll be able to get 
to meet with them when something 
comes up affecting one of their clients. 
Lobbyists encourage politicians to 
threaten industries with hearings as a 
way to shake the money tree. This ap- 
proach is called "Astrolurr by lobbyists. 

But, as long as the fox is guarding the 
henhouse, we're not going to see any 
substantive changes. How r many people 
will vote themselves a cut in pay? 

The end result of this corruption is 
that big business interests are running 
the government, not ours. We're told we 
are living in a democracy, but that's just 
another scam. We dutifully vote the way 
they want us to with the TV political ads 
their money buys. 

So we pay a little more for cars, steef 
airline tickets, and all the products ad- 
vertised on TV in order to keep thou- 
sands of lobbyists in BMWs and Con- 
gress awash in campaign money. We pay 
more lor our schools, health care, and so 
on as these industries siphon part of our 
money into Washington, Half a trillion 
dollars last time. Who Ml bid a trillion? 
We will. 

Those SATs 

Betcha didnM know r that in the early 
60s, when the student SATs peaked, 
less than 25% of all public school teach- 
ers had a postgraduate degree. 15% 
didn't even have a bachelor's degree! 
Twenty years later, as the SATs plum- 
meted, more than half of all teachers had 
master's degrees and under one percent 

Continued on page 62 

On the Go 

Mobile, Portable and Emergency Operation 

1 Meter FM is Getting Hot! 

Number 29 on your Feedback card 

Steve Nowak KE8YN/4 

1011 Peacock Ave.. NE 

Palm Bay Ft 32907^1371 


Ten meters has great potential for working DX at reasonable power levels without filling up the 
inside of the car with equipment. It is primarily a daytime and evening hand, which fits in 
nicely with most people's commuting schedule. The ten meter rigs that are being offered today 
are comparable in size to VHF or UHF mobile rigs and should be able to fit in virtually any 

Like many of you, I spend a reasonable 
amount of time commuting 10 and from 
work each day. Also like you, I use my drive 
time as an opportunity to gel in a little ham 
radio activity. While 2 meters and 440 MH/ 
are fun, there is only so much you can do 
through the local repeater. With the sunspoi 
activity increasing, there is m doubt that HF 
soon will be the place to be. 

Now, there are a number of ways to ap- 
proach HF, with some operators sprouting 
a muliihand antenna on the vehicle and ha\ - 
ing equipment for working all modes from 
RTTY to CW. This can be a tremendous 
amount of fun, but also can entail an equally 
large investment. After all, can you really 
compete with the kilowatt stations on twenty 
meters using a mobile rig? Even if you put 
a linear amplifier in the trunk, stacked 
monobanders still provide more signal than 

a fender-mounted vertical. There is t how- 
ever, an ideal band and mode for mobile and 
portable operation — ten meters, 

Mobiling on 10 

Ten meter rigs (Photo A) are easy to use, 
often well equipped with "creature fea- 
tures," and remarkably inexpenshe. In ad^ 
dilion. ten meter antennas are modestlv 
sized and can be readilv mounted on anv 
t\pe of mount from a fender-mounted ball 
to a magnet mount on the roof or trunk 
(Photo B). And, as we mentioned above, 
ten meters is great for mobiling because the 
rigs can fit into almost any vehicle. 

AM lives on 10 

While sideband operation is the standard 
voice mode for the high frequency bands. 

Photo A. Room for one more — Alinco DR-MQ3 mounted on fop qf2tn/440 and HF rigs. 

ten meters provides a couple of additional 
options, While AM has lost a lot of popu- 
larity on many bands because of its wide 
bandwidth compared to single sideband, this 
is not necessarily true on ten meters. There 
have been a lot of citizens' band radios con- 
verted to ten meter use thai have retained 
the AM mode. Generally, the AM portion 
of the band is between 28.965 MHz and 
29.405 MH/, and there are standardized cor- 
relations for ten meter frequencies that re- 
flect a 2 MH/ conversion from CB channels, 

10 FM: Fantasy land! 

The most interesting operating mode on 
ten meters is ten meter FM. If you take the 
best features of VHF, UHF, and HFyou have 
an idea what ten meter FM is like. FM pre- 
sents some distinct advantages. Remember 
that FM is different because it exhibits cap- 
ture effect, which means chat when more 
than one FM signal is on a given frequency, 
an FM receiver will tend to "hear" or cap- 
lure only die strongest signal. While this 
does not eliminate all interference, it is sig- 
nificantly less of a problem than it is in AM 
or sideband operations. Likewise, FM is not 
as seriously impacted by atmospheric noise 
as are other modes. For operating 10 meter 
FM, 29.600 MHz and 29.480 MHz are used 
for direct i wo- way communications. 

If FM is so great, why don't we use it on 
every band? Well, don'i forget that FM does 
require a fairly wide bandwidth. Ten meters 
has the advantage of offering a reasonable 
range o\ frequencies, so there is space for 
wider bandwidth operations. With the abil- 
ity 7 to operate FM. you find that this is a great 
band for repeater operations, and this is 
where the fun begins, There are ten meter 
repeaters scattered all over this continent, 
Unlike VHF or UHF repeaters that serve a 

73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 39 

Phot a /?, In meter antenna mag-mount an roof complements 20 meter and VHF/UHF 
antennas on trunk lid. 

10 Meter FM Frequencies 

29.48 MHz Simplex Frequency 

29.60 MH 

z National FM Simplex Frequency 

10 Meter Repeaters 

Input (MHz) 

Output (MHz) 









ARRL 10 Meter CTCSS Plan 

Call Area 

Tone 1 

Tone 2 















1 03.5 



















Table L Copy-and-clip 10 meter frequency chart, 
40 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

single area with a radius of fifty miles or 
so t these 10 meter FM repeaters sen r e the 
entire world. From my car using a magnetic 
mount antenna and 10 watts while driving 
along the east coast of Florida, I can hit re- 
peaters from Puerto Rico to Bos ion- Stations 
with more power and a better antenna can 
hit the same repeaters from virtually any- 
where- It is not uncommon io hear a mobile 
in the U.S. working DX stations through- 
out Europe, Australia, or other exotic loca- 
tions — one right after another. 

The 10 FM bandplan 

Most ten meter repeaters are set up in a 
fairly standard fashion with an input fre- 
quency offset from the output frequency. 
Standard offset for the input is 100 kHz 
down from the output, so a repeater that 
transmits on 29.62 MHz would receive sig- 
nals on 29.52 MHz. The standard output 
frequencies for ten meter FM are 29,62, 
29.64, 29.66. and 29.68 MHz, with the in- 
put frequencies down 100 kHz (29.52, 
29.54, 29,56, and 29.58 \!H a respectively.) 
A "copy-and-clip" chart of this is given in 
Table 1. 

Tones on 10 FM 

With only four frequency pairs, you might 
expect that there could be a problem with 
interference between repeaters. In most 
cases, this will not be an issue due to the 
differences in propagation — more on that 

However, as with repeaters on the fre- 
quencies, ii is possible (and very easy) to 
use CTCSS, sometimes called PL tones* 
This technique uses a tow frequency tone 
that is transmitted along with the carrier The 
tone is set for a gi%en repealer to prevent 
interference from signals on the same fre- 
quency aimed at other repeaters. In actual- 
ity, however, the CTCSS tones may be more 
of a hindrance than a benefit since propa- 
gation will determine which repeater you 
will hit. 

In 2 meter FM, the signal is line~of~sight 
from your antenna to the repeater. In 10 
meter FM, some people may have the abil- 
ity to contact the repeater by ground wave, 
but most of us will have our signal bounced 
between the Earth and the ionosphere one 
or more times before it hits the repealer. 
Since the ionosphere reflects differently 
depending upon the time of day and the 
conditions dictated by the 1 1 -year sunspot 
cycle, the point at which the signal returns 
to Earth will often determine which repeater 
is available. 

Continued on page 59 

Calendar euents 

Number 4 1 on your Feedback card 

Listings are Free of charge as space permits. Please send us your Calendar Event two months in 
advance of the issue you want it to appear in. For example, if you want it to appear in the April 
issue, we should receive it by January 31. Provide a clear, concise summary of the essential 
details about your Calendar Event 


LOVELAND, CO The Northern Colorado ARC 
will host their Superfest from 9 a.m -3 p.m. at 
the Larimer County Fairgrounds, 700 Railroad 
Ave. VE exams t commercial exhibits, 
computers, radios and more. Reserve tables 
from Michael Robinson N7MR, (970) 225- 
7501; or []. Talk-in on 1 45,1 1 5 
(-1 00 Hz) or 146.52. For detailed information, 
see the Web page at [ 

JAN 9 

SOUTH BEND, IN The Michiana Valley 
Hamfest Assn. will sponsor the 23rd Annual 
South Bend Hamfest & Computer Expo, 
Sunday, Jan, 9th, 2000 at 8 a,m-3 p.m. 
downtown at the Century Center (US Bus 31 
North at Jefferson Blvd.). There will be a large 
flea market featuring manufacturers, dealers 
and swappers of amateur radio equipment and 
computer hardware/software. Setup Sunday at 
6 a.rn. Talk-in on 145.290H- 5 ft. round tables 
are $5 each; 8 ft. rectangulartables $15 each,; 
8 ft. rectangular wall tables $20 each. Advance 
tickets $4 each. Electric power $26.25. Make 
check or MO payable to MVHA and mail to 
Michiana Valiey Hamfest Assn., 21970 Kern 
Rd t South Bend IN 46614. For info or ordering, 
ptease send business-size SASE. Contact 
Denny KA9WNR, M-F 7p,m.-10p.m. EST at 

JAN 15 

ST. JOSEPH, MO The 10th annual Northwest 
Missouri Winter Hamfest will be held on Jan, 
15th, 8 a.m. -3 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in St 
Joseph. There will be special room rates for 
hamfest participants. The motel is located at 
[-29 and Frederick Ave. (exit 47 on I-29). Talk- 
in on 146.85 and 444.925. VE exams, major 
exhibitors, and flea market all indoors. Free 
parking. Admission $2 each or 3 for $5 in 
advance; at the door, $3 each or 2 for $5. Swap 
tables 6 ft. by 2.5 it are $10 each for the first 
two tables, 3 or more for $20 each. This 
includes two chairs and a ticket. Commercial 
exhibitors welcome, write for details: Northwest 
Missouri Winter Hamfest, c/o Dick Merriii 
KC0AMY, RO. Box 1533, St. Joseph MO 
64502; orcaii (816) 279-2304. 

JAN 16 

HAZEL PARK, Ml The Hazel Park ARC will 

hold their 34th Annual Swap & Shop at the 
Hazel Park High School, 23400 Hughes St M 
Hazel Park Ml. Open to the public 8 a.m.-2 
p.m. General admission is $5 in advance or 
at the door. Plenty of free parking. Tables are 
$14 each and reservations for tables must 
be received with a check. No reservations by 
phone. Talk-m on 146,64(-> the DART reptr. 
For more info about the swap, tickets or table 
reservations mail with an SASE to HPARG, 
P.O. Box 368, Hazel Park Mi 48030. 

RICHMOND, VA The Richmond Amateur 
Telecommunications Society (RATS) will hold 
Frostfest 2000 at the Showplace-3000 
Mechanicsvilie Tpke., Richmond VA, From I- 
95 , Exit 75 to h64 East, then Exit 192 (Rt. 360 
East); go 1/2 mi. on left. Open 8:30 a.m. -3:30 
p.m. Handicapped accessible. Talk-in on 

146.88. There will be indoor dealers, a flea 
market, and forums. Admission $6. Call (804) 
330-3165 for reservations; or write Frostfest 
2000, RO. Box 14828, Richmond VA 23221- 
0828. For general info, call (804) 739-2269, 
Box FEST. Visit the Web at [http://frostfest.], 

YONKERS, MY The Metro 70 cm Network 
(WR2MSN) will present their Computer and 
Electronic Flea Market at Lincoln High 
School, Kneeland Ave., Yonkers NY, starting 
at 9 a.m. Vendor setup at 7 a.m. Free parking. 
Ad- mittance is $6; under 12 years free. Talk- 
in on 440.425 PL 156.7; or 146.910 PL 114. 
Vendors should call WB2SLQ after 7p.m. at 
(914) 969-1053; or E-mail [Wb2siq@juno. 

Continued on page 42 


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INFO 714-901-0573 

FAX 714-901-0583 

ORDERS 800-933-4264 


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Happy Holidays from THE HAM CONTACT 

For Literature on Antennas, HT & Get Batteries, Inverters Power Supplies. Etc., Send a targe SASE w/3 stamps 

~ ' ' " . .- . — , - -I, ^^..^.^..^ — ____^ 

73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 41 

Calendar Euents 

continued from page 4 J 

com]Xo register, This show will be held ail- 

JAN 23 

BABYLON, NY A special day of education for 
amateur radio will be held on Long Island on 
Sunday, Jan. 23rd , 2000. This event will 
include technical forums on all aspects of 
amateur radio. It is not a flea market or hamfest. 
There will be no items for sale. Some of the 
forums will be on license restructuring, 
antennas, DXrng 1 contesting, purchasing 
amateur radio equipment, packet, FLEXNET, 
ARES T APRS, satellite communications, and 
QRP (low power). There will also be a YL forum 
on issues concerning women amateur radio 
operators, and even more forums for everyone. 
In addition, there will be information booths for 
all the participating amateur radio clubs in the 
New York City/Long Island area, as well as 
booths for the ARRL, QCWA. a tune-up clinic 
and DXCCAA/AS card checking, The event is 
*Ham Radio University 2000' and will be heid 
Sunday, Jan. 23rd at the Babylon Town Hail 
Annex on Phelps Lane in Babylon NY, It will 
be open to the public 9 a.m -3 p.m. Donation 
$2,00. Spouses, and children under 12 will be 
admitted free. Ample free parking. For more 
info contact Phil Lewis N2MUN at [iewisp®} or call (5 1 6) 226-0698, The talk- 
in will be on the Great South Bay ARC repeater 
On 146,685. 136.5 PL 

JAN 30 

DOVER, OH The Tusco ARC Hamfest will be 
held at the Ohio National Guard Armory, 2800 
North Wooster Ave., Dover OH, Exit Interstate 
77 at Exit #87 (Strasburg), Turn right at the 
exit stop sign, heading south on County Road 
74 to the first traffic light. Continue through the 
traffic light intersection. The armory is on the 
right Talk- in/check- in on 146.730H. Admission 
is a S3 donation at the door. Dealers admitted 
at no charge- Tables are S10each, The building 
opens at 6 a.m, for setup and wifl be open 8 
a.m.-1 p.nv for the public. Food will be 
available on site, and after 7 a.m. at the 
restaurant next door. An ARES forum will also 
be featured. For more info and to reserve 
tables, contact Billy L Harper KB8CQG, P.O. 
Box 80407, Canton OH 44708. Tel (330)484- 
4634; Fax: (330) 484-4683; E-maii[bharper@]> 

ODENTON, MD The Maryland Mobileers ARC 
of Glen Burnie MD will host a Post Holiday 
Hamfest at Odenton Vol. Fire DepL Halt, 1425 
Annapolis Rd, {Rte. 175), nine miles east of I- 
95. Indoor flea market, no tailgating. Free VE 
exams (pre-register with Jerry Gavin NU3D, 
(410) 761-1423). Free parking. Talk-in on 
146.205/.805, Tables in advance. Contact Bill 
Hampton N3WGM. 7609 McGowan Ave. t Glen 

42 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

Bumie MD 2 1 060; or call (4 1 0) 766-2 1 99;. E- 
maif to {diamondb@space4less.coml Visit the 
Web site at []. 

FEB 5 

and Original Charleston Hamfest and 
Computer Show will be held at Stall High 
School in North Charleston, 8:30 a.m^ p.m. 
Setup FrL Feb, 4th, 5 pm-9 p.m,: Sat.. Feb. 
5th, after 6:30 a.m. The school is located near 
I-26 and Ashley Phosphate Rd. Several malls 
nearby, Talk-in on 146,790(-), (the WA4USN 
linked repeater system aboard the USS 
Yorktown ), and the 145 + 250(-) repeater near 
Summerville. Other area repeaters are 
147.180(+), 146.940(-)< 147.270(+), 
147.345{+), 146 + 760(-) t 147,1 50(+), and 
443.800(+). Tickets S5 at the door on Saturday 
morning (1 prize ticket included). Additional 
prize tickets are 51 each or 6 for S5, Children 
under 12 admitted free. 8 ft, tables $8 in 
advance, $1 at the door, as long as they last, 
Make check payable to C.A.R.S. Hamfest 
Committee, and mail with an SASE to Jenny 
Myers WA4NGV. 2630 Dellwood Ave.. 
Charleston SC 29405-6814. VE exams will be 
given on site. Please bring an original and copy 
of your Social Security number amateur 
license, any CSCEs you have, and two IDs, 
one with a photo, All testing will be on a walk- 
in basis and will begin at 12 noon. For more 
info call Ed KE2D at (843) 871 -4368. or E-mail 
[]; or call Doc W4MUR 
at (843) 884-5614. 

FEB 6 

LORAIN, OH The Northern Ohio ARS will 
sponsor Winterfest 2000 at Gargus Hall. 1965 
N. Ridge Rd., Lorain OH, Mobile check-ins and 
directions will be provided on NOARS 
repeaters 146,700{-) and 444.800(+). All 
indoor commercial space, reservations 
required. 6 ft, tables are $10 each. AH workers 
require an admission ticket. Setup for vendors 
begins at 6 a.m, Doors open to the general 
public at 8 a.m. Tickets S5 at the door. For more 
info contact John Schaaf KC8AOX at (216) 
696-5709: or write NOARS Winterfest RO Box 
432, Elyria OH 44036*0432. E-mail to 

FEB 7 

SUN CITY, AZ The West Valley ARC will hold 
an amateur radio equipment auction at St. 
Clement of Rome Catholic Church Social Hall, 
15800 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City AZ (1/2 mite 
S of Bell RdJ. Free admission. The club keeps 
1 0% on equipment sales. Tatk-in on 1 47.3G(+). 
Contact Fred KC5AC at (623) 214-7054; or E- 
mail []. 

FEB 11-13 
ORLANDO, FL The Orlando ARC will sponsor 

the 53rd Orlando Hamcation Show and the 
ARRL State Convention, at the Central Florida 
Fairgrounds, located on Rt. 50 Colonial Dr t 3 
miles west of I-4. Open FrL. Feb, 1 1th, 5 p.m - 
9 p,m.; Sat., Feb, 1 2th, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sun +r 
Feb. 1 3th, 9 a.m -3 p-m. Over 1 50 commercial 
booths, over 400 swap tables, RV camping with 
elect, and water, $16 per night in advance or 
S20 at the gate. Admission S7 in advance or 
S9 at the gate. Commercial booths S225, swap 
tables $35 m advance or S45 at the gate. 
Tailgate $25 in advance or $35 at the gate. 
Price is for three days. Setup Fri., Feb. 11th, 9 
a.m.^ p.m. Talk-in on 146.760(-)- VE exams, 
must register in advance. Call Git Lineberry at 
(407) 843-4112. You can join the foxhunt by 
registering by 4 p.m. at the info booth. 
Seminars, lectures, demonstrations, and 
special guest speakers. Check the Web site 
for up-to-date info at [www, 
hamcat.html]. Contact Ken Ghristenson. 5548 
C Cinderfane Rky> Orlando FL 32808; tel. (407) 
291-2465; or E-mail [KD4JQR@arrLnetj, 

FEB 12 

RENO, NV The Reno Millennium Hamswap 
and Sale will be sponsored by the University 
of Nevada Radio Pack Club. This event will be 
held at KNPB Channel 5. 1670 N. Virginia St, 
in Reno starting at 8 a.m. Bring your out-of- 
use equipment from garage and shack. There 
will be ample parking and no admission or table 
cost. Bring your own table. Talk-in on the 
W7UNR rptr. 145.29(0 split: the RAMS rptr. 
147,06(+) PL 123: and 444.800(+) PL 123, A 
raffle, coffee and donuts will be available at 
the swap. E-mail Gary K7VY at [k7vy@]; or Glen KK7IH at [kk7ih@arri,netj. 

FEB 13 

MANSFIELD, OH The Mansfield Mid'Winter 
Hamfest and Computer show will be held Sun., 
Feb. 13th at the Richland County Fairgrounds 
in Mansfield, Doors open to the public at 7 am 
Tickets are $4 in advance t $5 at the door. 
Tables are $10 in advance, 512 at the door, if 
available. Advance ticket/table orders must be 
received and paid by Feb. 1st. For additional 
info on advanced tickets or tables, send SASE 
to Pat Akerman N8YOB, 63 N. Illinois Ave., 
Mansfield OH 44905; or tel. (419) 589-7133. 
For talk-in call W8WEon 146.34/.94, 

FEB 19 

ELMIRA, NY The Amateur Radio Assn. of the 
Southern Tier will present its 19th Annual 
Winterfest. Saturday, Feb. 19th. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 
at the Bmira College Murray Athletic Center 
Domes, on NYS Rte, 14, 5 miles north of 
Horseheads NY. Talk-in will be on 146J00{-), 
There will be dealer displays of new 
equipment, and a huge indoor flea market. 
Breakfast and lunch will be served on the 
premises, Admission is S5 at the door; children 

10 and under are admitted free. VE exams 
start at 9 a.m M walk-ins welcome. For dealer 
and table rental inquiries, contact GaryN2QKU 
at (607) 739-0134. 

OBERLIN, PA The Harrisburg RAC will 
present their 2000 Winter Hamfest at the 
Citizens Fire Company of Dberljn, Saturday, 
Feb. 19th. Directions: l-283toSwatara/PA-44i 
Exit #1, Turn north onto PA-441 (toward Bob 
Evans Restaurant), Turn left at traffic light onto 
Eisenhower Blvd. Turn right at the next traffic 
light, remaining on PA-441 . Turn right at stop 
sign. The Fire Hall is 02 miles on the right. 
General admission S3 (XYLs. harmonics free). 
Inside tables $8 each. Tail-freezing tailgating 
$1 per space. For table reservations contact 
Dick Bordner N3NJB, 2501 South 2nd St., 
Steeiton PA 17113. Tel. (717) 939-4825; orE- 
maii [N3NJB@aoLcom}. See the Web site at 
[http://hrac tripod, com}. 

RECKREALL OR The Salem Repeater Assn. 
and the Oregon Coast Emergency Repeater, 
lnc„ will present the 2000 Salem Hamfair, 
Saturday, Feb. 19th at the Polk County 
Fairgrounds in Rlckreall, 9 a.m. until the end 
of the 3 p.m prize drawing, Pre-registrations 
post marked by Feb. 4th will receive an extra 
door prize ticket with each registration, For 
answers to Hamfarr pre-registration questions, 
call Evan Burroughs N7IFJ at (503) 585-5924: 
or E-mail to [}. Parking for 
self-contained RVs on the fairgrounds is just 
$10 per night per RV. Indicate which nights you 
wish to park and include the fee with your 
hamfair registration, Talk-In on 146. 86(-). 
Commercial venders will include Icorn, Ham 
Radio Outlet, Star Fire Tech, Capital Engraving, 
Radio Depot Emergency Communications 
Supply, and many more, 

FEB 20 

will hold its 30th annual Swap 'rV Shop Sunday, 
Feb. 20th, 8 a.m,-12 noon at the William M. 
Costick Activities Center, 28600 Eleven Mile 
Rd. (between Middlebelt and Inkster Rds.} in 
Farmington Hills. Talk-in on 144.75/5.35, For 
info, send a 4 x 9 SASE c/o Neil Coffin 
WA8GWL Livonia ARC, P.O. Box 51532. 
Livonia Mt 48151-5532; or call the dub phone 
line at (734) 261-5486. The club Web page is 
at [www.larcmLorgl Send E-mail to [swap® 

FEB 26 

LA PORTE, IN The LPARC Cabm Fever 
Hamfest will be held at the La Porte Civic 
Auditorium. 1001 Ridge, 7 a.m„-1 p.m. 
Chicago time. Admission S5. Tables S5. Talk- 
in on 146.520 and 14&610(-) PL 131.8. For 
more info contact NeifStraub WZ9N. PO. Box 
30. La Porte IN 46352. T&L (219) 324-7525; E- 
maii [nstraub@niia.netl 

MILTON, VT The Radio Amateurs of Northern ' 
Vermont will sponsor the Northern Vermont 
Winter Hamfest and ARRL Vermont State 
Convention, 8 a.m. -3 p,m. at Milton High 
School, Route 7 in Milton (5 miies north of I- 
89 Exit 17). Talk-in on 145.15 rptr. Features 
include a flea market, forums, auction, 
dealers, book sates, exhibits and refresh- 
ments. Admission is S3, free for under 18 
years. Tables are free while they last, For 
large setups, call W1SJ at (802) 879*6589, 
or E-mail [wis}® The Web site is at 
[http://www.]. VE exams 
will be given at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m,; commercial 
exams at 2 p.m, 

FEB 27 

ANNANDALE, VA The Vienna Wireless 
Society's 24th Annual Winterfest will be held 
at the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia 
Community College. Coordinates: N38 49.96'; 
W77 14,28". From the Capital Beltway, take Exit 
6 West, turn left onto Wakefield Chapel Road: 
after 0.2 mile, turn left. The indoor area opens 
at 8 a.m.; tailgating area opens at 6 a«m, Talk- 
In on 146,31A91. Admission S5. XYLs free. 
Tailgating $10. DXCC field checks. For info 
phone Jim WA4LTO, (703) 392-0150; E-mail 
[k3mt@erois.coml Visit the Web at [http:// more info. VE 
exams at 8 a.m. sharp. 

Open to the public 9 a.m. Sunday Feb, 27th, 
General admission S6, children under 12 free, 
Free parking available, Vendors, all spaces $25 
each, each space includes one 6 ft, table and 
admits one person. Advance registration only, 
no tables sold at the door. Send check to 
LIMARQ P.O. Box 392, Levittown NY 11756- 
0392. Contact Hamfest Chairman Eddie Mum 
KC2AYC at (516) 791-7630 or [hamfest® Features include amateur radio 
equipment, CB equipment TV. VHF tune-up 
dink:, computers. ARRL information* and ham 
equipment dealers. 

MAR 4 

KNOXVtLLE, TN The Shriners of Kerbela ARS 
will sponsor their annual Hamfest at Kerbela 
Temple. 31 5 Mimosa Ave,, Knoxville TN. 8 am - 
4 p,nr Admission is 55. Indoor venctor tables are 
$8 each plus admission of S5. Setup Friday 4 
p.m.-8 p.m.; and Saturday 5 a.m.-B a.m. 
Overnight security will be provided. Talk-In on 
144.83/145.43 or 146.52 simplex. Smoking 
indoors is permitted in designated area only. 
Contact Kerbela Amateur Radio Service, Kerbela 
Tempte AAQN.WS., 315 Mimosa Ave, T SE. 
Knoxvilfe TN 37901, 

Say you saw it in 73! 


OH The Cuyahoga 
Fails ARC, Inc. will 
sponsor their 46th 
Annual Hamfest 
Electronic and Com- 
puter Show, Sunday 
Feb. 27th, 8 a,m.-2 
p.m., at Emidio 1 s 
Party Center, 48 E, 
Bath Rd. at the corner 
of State Rd., Cuy- 
ahoga Falls, For more 
details contact Cari 
Hen/of, Hamfest Chair- 
man. (330) 497-7047: 
or send E-mail to 
[carlh@ pop.raex. 

The 2000 Long Island 
Mobile Amateur 
Radio Ctub Winter 
Hamfest wifl be held 
at Levittown Hall, 
201 Leavrttown Park- 
way, Hicksville, east 
of the Wantagh 
Parkway (Exit W2 
East) T 1/2 mile south 
of Old Country Rd. 
on Levittown Pkwy. 
Talk-in on W2VL 
146.85 rptr, PL 136.5. 


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73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 43 

Rboue & Beyond 

VHF and Above Operation 

Number 44 on your 


C. L Houghton WB6IGP 

San Diego Microwave Group 

6345 Badger Lake Ave. 

San Diego CA 921 19 


Noise and Its Amateur Implications 

Noise in its broadest terms is something we are all familiar with. Noise from mechanical 
devices, electrical devices, and all sorts of things all add up to make noise a part of our every- 
day life. Noise from the dog at 3 a.m., noise even from our grandchildren at play can really 
make you wish you could turn down their amplifier and have some peace and quiet. While 
turning down the noise source is a good idea, it's not possible in the modern world (electroni- 
cally speaking) that we live in. Unfortunately, we must confront head-on the contributions of 
noise produced by all the technology that we have become accustomed to using. 


he real fighl lor survival is inside our 
equipment and in the design of devices 
to counter this noise problem. While T donH 
want to go into noise h lankers and olhcr 
receiver noise circuits. I do want la take a 
slightly different lack and go into identify- 
ing the noise sensitivity of receiving sys- 
leins and preamps in general. What is 
interesting to noie is that all receivers con- 
tribute noise to the receiving system, with 
some better (less noise) than others. This 
internal noise product is what we are exam- 
ining in receiving systems, be it a prcamp 
or receiver. We vvaiu lo identify just what 
inherent noise each component amplifier 
part is capable of .supporting. Eliminating 
noise completely is not possible, as all de- 
vices make or generate noise as a function 
of current flow. While other devices try to 
selectively soil through this noise and pull 
out real signals, adjusting first stage ampli- 
fiers for minimum noise figure produces the 
best results. 

Thaf s the real topic for radio amateurs 
— pulling very weak signals out of the 
gobhledygook we all refer to as "noise." I 
am sure if we listen to noise long enough 
we can even make n contact with some rare 
callsign. Humor aside, we all have listened 
for long times to find v\ eak signals, both real 
and imaginary, trying to fish a contact out 
of the noise while searching up and down 
the band adjusting our antenna and peaking 
our receiver for besi performance. 

Noise is w hat we hear when we unsqueleh 
our handhelds or listen to a high frequenev 
receiver — if s all noise, at least until a real 
signal hopefully comes roaring through. We 
can lake a signal generator and examine 
44 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

almost any receiver to find out its minimum 
sensitivity in microvolts and how much gain 
it gives, but this does not give a true picture 
of the system performance. What is needed 
is a measurement of noise figure. 

Noise figure is a ratio used lo rate each 
system or component amplifier of a system. 
The lower the noise figure number you can 
obtain* the belter your system will be able 
to pick a very weak signal out of the exter- 
nal noise. There is, however, a requirement 
thai the weak signal you expect to find is 
higher in level than the ambient or external 
noise. In other words, if the signal you want 
is on even par with elevators, generators, 
and automobile ignition systems (to men- 
tion a few contributing noise sources >, there 
is not much that will allow you to receive a 
workable signal. Even the neighbor's 
Mixmastercan wipe you out with noise and 
make your receiver unworkable, at least 
until the cake mix is finished. 

Remembering back to my HF days as a 
Novice, I was always adding on lu my HF 
receivers' adjuncts to improve sensitivity 
and performance without having test equip- 
ment to evaluate just what improvements my 
system was capable of detecting, In those 
early days I did not realize that the HF re- 
ceivers, hot as they were, did not need much 
improvement as far as noise figure was con- 
cerned, as the external noise was so great 
there was little that could be done to im- 
prove the receiver to overcome it. To be able 
to copy signals that are below this thresh- 
old ("signals below the external noise 
floor")* other special techniques are required. 

My first noise meter was a simple diode 
noise source serial #2, a prototype found at 

a local surplus store. It was used to evalu- 
ate military receivers from 1 to 400 MHz, 
Or rather, instead of testing them, it was 
supposed to be used first when the receiver 
was new to make a noise reference meter 
reading and record it for maintenance 
checks. It was then used to test all receivers 
of a specific type, and at a specific frequency 
have a meter reading of. say, 5-7 on die ref- 
erence scale. If it went lo a larger number T 
the receiver was gelling numb and needed 
service. What a neat device for a quick 
evaluation confidence check of a system 
receiver, as it did not require extensive cali- 
bration, (This was for AM, CW, and SSB 
receivers only. It will not work for FM.) 

Later on, the pursuit for better noise fig- 
ure (without the capability of measuring in 
was hot underway. Operation on 2 meters 
and above was all the rage. First came the 
Gonset Communicator (a tube radio) and its 
RF amp, a 6BQ7 with a NF of 7 dB or so at 
2 meters. New improvements came on, as 
the Nuvisior touted then as sort of a solid 
state miniature tube (the 6CW4) with a NF 
of about 3 lo 4 dB. To really get the best 
noise figure at this time, the ultimate 
at 2 meters wus the historic Western Elec- 
tric 4 IftB gold-plated lighthouse tube. Noise 
figures in the I dB range were at hand, but 
at a price — that being a supply of pressur- 
ized air to prevent the glass seals from crack- 
ing from tube heat. Not to mention a high 
voltage DC power supply for the 4 I6B and 
its S50 price tag. 

Then entered the solid stale transistors 
from Texas Instruments called the TIXM05 
and its family of devices that equaled the 
4 16\ 1 dB NF and was solid stale and about 


0|3 612 

AKTech 7514 
Noise Figure 


30 MHz 


30 MHz 20 dB 






10368 MHz 

30 MHz 





©10368 MHz + 7 dB 


Fig. L Adtech 7514 noise figure merer connected to noise head, Noise head produces RF 
noise to input of "BUT*' (Device Under Test) preamplifier and is converted with an ex- 
ternal signal generator and microwave mixer to JO MHz. the IF frequency of the 75 J 4 
noise figure meter. A small 10 to 20 dB amplifier is required to overcome the loss due to 
mixing conversion loss. JO MM: preamp can he constructed with 2 stages of most any 
MMIC amplifier* 

1/20 or the rube's weight. Believe it or nm. 
while looking through the junk box thai I 
build from. 1 located several TIXM0 devices 
still in their original package. What a find 
— t had forgotten all about them lying in 
the junk box from the laic "60s. (I should 
start a radio sideshow of old and interesting 

Since in those days science in general 
exploded, with 1 dB noise figure at 2 meiers 
came improvements holding the NF to he- 
low I dB but at increasing frequencies with 
bipolar devices and then GaAsFET devices. 
Not to just 1 GH? hut into the very micro- 
wave region that I love to play in today. 
Obtaining a I dB NF preamp at 10 GHz is 
nothing today with modern FETs. What is 
left after constructing such a preamplifier 
or system is the adjusting and measuring 
that is required to obtain best adjustment 
and lowest noise figure (NF). Whai a com- 
parison to the early 2 meter struggling for 
a modest noise figure with tubes before 
transistors and FETs, 

Jusi for fun and to demonstrate how good 
materia] is today, I bandsawed aQualeomm 
1 2 GHz Low Noise Amplifier I LNA) out of 
a major assembly, put isolation capacitors 
and two coax connectors on the preamp, and 
took it to the NF measurement at Micr 
wave Update 1999 in Piano. Texas. It mea- 
sured at 10368 MHz 27 dB gain, and a 2. 1 3 
dB NF out the chute with no prior testing 

or adjusting by me after sawing ihe unit out 
of a much larger component. Compare that 
to my efforts quite a few years ago with 
tubes and the first transistors, and you can see 
that we have come a long way as amateurs, 
and in electronics in general. 

What, then, are the noise improvements 
that need to be made to a preamp or circuits 
to make them better and allow weaker sig- 
nals to be received usine the same device 
and circuit such as my amp described lor 
10 GHz? The procedures are the same for 
any frequency, be it 1 GHz or 10 GH/. Onh 
construction and circuit size gets smaller 
and smaller as frequencies increase, mak- 
ing them more difficult to cope with as cir- 
cuit size diminishes. Tools shift from 
longnose pliers and wire cutters to tweezers 
and Xaclo knives. Also, it is necessary' to 
employ a noise figure meter to properly 
evaluate the circuit for best adjust mem lor 
lowest noise figure. The noise figure test 
equipment musi be utilized to make this 
adjustment. While die preamplifier under 
lest in this example exhibits good gain, mi- 
nor readjustments in device drain current 
and bias voltage, with small circuit param- 
eter changes in capacitance and inductance. 
can turn a functioning preamp into an 
excellent-low-noise-figure preamplifier, 

Well, what does this magical device, the 
noise figure meter, have that is so special? 
First, it must have a source of noise, a 

diode noise source that is calibrated to a spe- 
cific power in dB (rated in dB or called ENR, 
excess noise ) over a specific frequency range. 
These specifications are usually labeled on 
individual noise heads. Its power is called 
Noise Source Excess Noise. One commer- 
cial noise head I have came with a Sanders 
5400B noise figure meter (military surplus). 
This noise head is rated at 25.5 dB (ENR) 
excess noise from 1 MHz to 18 GHz and 
Hat to within ±.75 dB. Thafs a lot of noise 
output power, and if you connected the full 
unattenualcd power of this noise head into 
a somewhat numb 1 GHz or less frequency 
receiver, it would jump and take notice. The 
reaction would be the same as putting 100 
microvolts from a signal generator into a 
receiver that is sensitive to 5 microvolts — 
thafs an S-9+++ signal capable of turning 
any receiver upside down, 

To really find out what is going on, we 
have to attenuate the noise head power to 
lesser and lesser levels of noise power and 
see what the receiver's reaction is, and then 
calculate the difference between the noise 
head's noise and no noise at ihe output of 
the receiver. The output of the IF amplifier 
or audio output is coupled to the noise fig- 
ure meter to make this measurement. Whai 
is going on is thai the NF meter is pulsing 
DC power at a 1 hertz on/off rate to the di- 
ode noise head. This produces a signal of 
noise pulses alternating between noise on 
and noise off. The detector circuit in the 
noise meter measures ihe difference be- 
tween noise on znd noise off to produce a 
reading in dB that is expressed as noise fig- 
ure. In the noise off state, the ambient noise 
of the system is measured, and this base line 
value is compared to the noise on reading. 
This comparison expresses ihe true noise 
figure of the device or converter in dB. The 
lower the number the belter the svstem 
amplifier. Adjustments to the amplifier 
can be made at this time to improve the 
noise figure readings. 

Using a noise head with 25.5 ENR means 
thai noise figure of better than 2(klB can be 
measured. By modern standards this is quite 
numb for systems up to 24 GHz. What is 
done to make lower readings of noise fig- 
ure possible is to attenuate the noise head 
power to a lesser value in dB wiUi a 10 or 
20 dB attenuator. For a 10 dB attenuator 10 
to 20 dB NF can be measured: this might 
be a starting point for first cut alignment. 
However, for serious measurements an at- 
tenuator of 20 dB is used to make a reading 
of less than a 10 dB NF. While the Sanders 
5400B is an early surplus NF meter, it is 
not capable of stable sub-2 dB measure- 
ments. This is still not to scoff at, as it still 

73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 45 


AitTech 7514 
Noise Figure 


30 MHz 

28 MHz OUT 




10368 MHz 



145 MHz 


145 MHz TO 

P/0 116 MHZ 

Fig* 2* Noise figure meter testing a microwave convener with 145 MHz IF output Gain 
not required at 30 MHz* as convener has high level at 145 Mil: IF output. Converter 
from 145 MHz-28 MHz uses RF mixer and 116 MHz LO crystal oscillator. The noise 
figure of the microwave convener is now being measured. 

can provide meaningful measurements and 
reasonably good results. 

The noise head used in this system is rtOt 
cheap either, as a good noise head to 18 GHz 
can run from $400 al used surplus dealers 
to S 1 300 new. Keep your eyes open, as they 

can be had at swap meets for $1 after they 
are separated from their cables and meters. 
It seems that most external devices, probes 
and such, seem to migrate in surplus from 
the devices that they are used with, making 
them an orphan item possibly available in 

unexpected places 
— especial l> if you 


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can spot a bargain. 
While the Sund- 
ers NF meter is 
quite versatile, it 
accepts 11 frequen- 
cies from 10 to 300 
MHz — or video 
input from sources 
such as the speaker 
audio jack — to a 
real wideband video 
output source. 
While it is versatile 
in these applica- 
tions, h falters in 
the sub-2 dB noise 
figure measure- 
ments. It's kind of 
like having a Ford or 
Chevy while want- 
ing a Ferrari. Well, 
enter the next level: 
the Ailtedi 7510 
through 7514 NF 
meters. I was able to 
pick up an Ail lech 
7514 meter and NF 
head that allows RF 
frequencies to be 
measured from 1 to 
12.4 GHz, and NF 

measurements to 

sub- 1 dB readings. Just what the doctor 

This meter has one liability, as it has only 
an IF at 30 MH/ as its input frequency. That 
means that a converter for your IF frequency 
must be constructed to interface to the NF 
meter. For all my mierowav e s> stems, 1 use 
a 2 meter IF for transmit and receive w ? ith 
all converters, so all I need is a 1 960s con- 
verter for 2 meters to 28 MH/ and we are 
in business. I haven't tried the setup yet, as 
Fni still gathering pails to put it all into 
play, Using 2K MH/ for an IF should not 
be a problem, as the 30 MH/ IF input is 5 
MHz wide. That means that 1 can use the 2 
meter converter in the junk box transistor- 
ized and near ready-to-go. I have to add a 
filter at the IF (30 MH/) and some gain to 
interface with the IF input circuits, but that 
can be as simple as a couple ai MMIC am- 

There is version -09 for the 7514 NF 
meter iluil oilers selectable IF frequencies 
for a great variety, but 2 meters is not one 
of them. Just a simple mixer local oscilla- 
tor at 1 1 6 MH/ and IF preamplifier and fil- 
ter for 30 MH/ is all thai is required. 
Nothing special, as the preamp or micro- 
wave converter to the 144 MHz frequency 
range is the main noise figure determining 
element in the noise Figure measurement. 
The subsequent stages contribute to the 
overall NF reading but to a much lesser de- 
gree than the first stage device. 

I am in the process of building and modi- 
fying the converter for the NF meter and 
will let you know how it goes. Right now I 
am collecting parts and putting together the 
full .system for bench use. We will finish up 
this topic next month, with great expecta- 
tions of having the full noise figure system 
in operation. 

WelL that's it for this month. If there are 
an\ questions, drop me a note ai my E-mail 
address. Best 73. Chuck WBAIGP. 


73 Magazine 

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46 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 


Number 47 on your Feedback card 

Low Power Operation 

The Lure of QRP 

Michael Bryce WB8VGE 

SunLJght Energy Systems 

955 Manchester Ave. SW 

North Lawrence OH 44S66 


Well what did you get this year for Christmas? Another sel of finals for the SB220? Well it's a 
New Year and a new century and time to change your thinking. Have you ever tried QRP? 
Just about anyone can chase DX with a 100-watt microprocessor-controlled transceiver Try it 
with only two watts! That's the challenge of QRP. There's nothing like working a rare DX 
station with one watt to sharpen your operating skill. Of course, there's much more to QRP 
than DXing with low power 

QRP is more a state of mind than some 
thing you can touch with your fingers. 
QRP is relative, loo. li all depends on how 
you look at things if you're running QRPor 
not. Basically. QRP is one of the many "Q" 
signals. QRP means to reduce your power. 
You could tell the other station to QRP just 
as you would say QRS to the same station. 

Since QRP really means only to reduce 
power, you would be correct if you switched 
from running the SB 220 to the 100 watts 
from the transceiver, And, you could say 
with a straight face, you're now QRP! So, 
if you're working a pileup and the DX op- 
erator only wants QRP operators to call- 
Shu hi ng down the SB 220 would give you 
the QRP edge. And once again, you're QRP! 

Let's look ai this one more time. Let's 
say you're working the CQ World Wide DX 
contest, and you're running a kW. By turn- 
ing the amplifier off, thus dropping your 
power down to 100 watts — you're now 
QRP! In fact let's lake this one more step. 
Suppose the DX station you're listening to 
says, "QRP only please/" Snap! Off goes 
the amplifier. You* re now QRP and you 
make your contact with tOO watts. That's 
far from operating with low power. But 
based on the fact you were nmning 1000 watts, 
reducing to 100 walls does in fact make you a 
QRP station at the lime you called! 

But, that's not really what QRP means to 
most hams. In a nutshell, if you say. "1 am 
running QRP/' you are sending no more than 
five watts of RF out to the antenna. Most 
commercial and kit-based QRP transceiv- 
ers and transmitters produce two to three 
watts of RF output. Notice that the power is 
output and not input. No one really messes 
with input power: it's what* s going out to 
the antenna that counts. 

Most hams have adopted it to identify 
low power equipment or operation. The 
Club International (QRP ARCI) has for- 
mally adopted the power level of five (5) 
watts as QRP. This is measured as output 
power from the transmitter. For really low, 
low power work, the term "miliiwatung" 
has replaced the aged term of QRPp, 

QRP is a great place to make new 
friends. QRP is a subculture within ham 
radio. Usually, when I tell someone fm 
running QRP, the QSO changes from the 
usual **rig here is Kenwood and the 
weather here is warm" to a real conversa- 
tion with an interested human operator on 
l he other end. 

Building your own gear 

Tve always enjoyed building my own 
equipment. In fact that is one of the rea- 
sons why I got my ham ticket in the first 
place. 1 just happen to like the smell of 
molten solder! I would dare to guess that 
most of the operators who enjoy QRP also 
enjoy building their own rigs. Nothing in 
the world can beat the feeling of working a 
station using home-brewed equipment, A 
QSO with gear you constructed with your 
own hands w ill be burnt into your memory 
for life. The warm fuzzy feeling will last 
for days after the QSO is over. That's a feel- 
ing you don't get when operating lite newest 

Photo A. If you like budding kits, you will love QRR Here, a Ten-Tee QRP transceiver kit 
is laid our and ready for assembly. The little gem has approximately 200 parts, and thus 
requires around 75 hours for assembly and checkout. Then it is ready to work the world! 
Now, who could resist such an attractive challenge?! {Photo courtesy o/K4TWJ) 

73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 47 

microprocessor-controlled Japanese-made 
SSB transceiver. 

You don't need to be a rocket scientist or 
an electronics engineer either to build your 
own rig. In fact. QRP projects are especially 
suited for the neophyte in home-brew con- 
struction. Building a transmitter is relatively 
easy. Usually, there's a wide tolerance range 
for parts, and most transmitters are built 
around straightforward circuits. Sometimes 
the transmitter is nothing more than a one- 
transistor oscillator coupled to an antenna. 
Only a handful of pans are required to pro- 
duce two watts on most frequencies. You'll 
be astonished by the amount of DX you can 
work with just a spoonful of parts. 

Because most QRP projects are simple. 
you usually won* I have trouble finding parts 
for the rig. A well-stocked Radio Shack can 
suppls \ou with jII the parts required fora 
75 meter CW transceiver. Companies like 
Mouscr Electronics [958 N. Main, Mans- 
field TX 76063; telephone < 800) 346-6873] 
and Digt-Kcy are especially geared to fill- 
ing small orders, Several hams have started 
their own companies supplying small parts 
just to the homebuildcr and the QRPen 

Youdon'l like hunting parts to build rigs? 
Several different companies furnish ready- 
to-go kits, too. Kits range from the very 
simple "oner" by the G-QRP club to the 
ARK-40 from S & S Engineering, the K2 
by Electrocrafi, and the M 1 300 series" from 
Ten-Tec (Photo A), 

T ve never liked working on microcircuits, 
but for some, the challenge of QRP comes 

in the form of assembling a Iransmiiter in 
the smallest possible chassis, V ve seen rigs 
built in pill bottles, Band-Aid boxes, a 
matchbox or two, and even a Sucrets box* 
Most construction projects center on 
building QRP transmitters. There's nothing 
stopping you from rolling your own receiver 
either The popular direct conversion re- 
ceiver makes a perfect marriage for a QRP 
transmitter. A direct conversion receiver is 
sensitive, as well as easy to build. Or you 
can go with several of the simpler superhel 
designs offered in 73 or QSZ Man> of these 
simpler designs rival the performance of 
much more complex receivers. 

QRP and other frequencies 

Alas, QRP is not only for HF use. Spe- 
cial QRP days have been set aside for the 
OSCAR satellites. Running too much RF 
on the uplink may damage or shorten the 
life of the satellite's battery, 

Then there's meteor scatter and 
moumaiiuopping using low power It's pos- 
sible to work numerous slates under favor- 
able conditions using 1 00 mW of RF on 10 
GHz. With the newer mul riband rigs on the 
market, you'll be seeing lots of activity OH 
iwo and six meters SSB and CW, QRP is 
very much alive on frequencies above 30 
MHz. QRP is also alive on the digital modes 
as well. I've used AMTOR, RTTY. and 
packet all while running five watts or less. 
It's amazing how AMTOR can keep a link 
up and running while squirting only five 
watts to the antenna, 

Photo /?. QRP: A homc-brewers haven! Shown here are a couple of weekend projects 
everyone likes; a Micwnaut transmitter available in kit form from K4TWJ t left I and a 
Micwnaut receiver available as a PC board from FAR Circuits {right). Each item can be 
assembled in a couple of hours, and reflects the "fun of home-brewing" side of QRP. 

48 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

QRPing and emergency 
communications go hand in hand 

During a natural disaster, your QRP trans- 
ceiver may be the only source of communi- 
cations from the disaster area. During 
electrical outages, running your ham gear 
QRP-style takes on a whole new meaning. 
Running low power is always better than 
running no power! 

Because QRP equipment is normally 
much smaller in size, its power requirements 
are easily met with small batteries. A QRP 
transceiver is ideal for taking ham radio with 
vou. You can easily carrv a complete HF 
rig, with batteries, in a backpack. Hiking, 
camping, or even Whitewater rafting takes 
on a whole new meaning now that ham ra- 
dio is aboard. There's also the possibility 
ham radio may be vital in saving a life or 
iwo while you're out camping. 

Battery power is all you need for world- 
wide communications from your home, too. 
In facu most QRPers enjoy operating their 
gear from batteries. Solar power and QRP 
operation go hand-in-hand to supply all the 
energy requirements of even the busiest 

Getting started in QRP operation 

QRP is not always push-button operat- 
ing! If you're used to making a contact on 
one calk then an adjustment in thinking may 
be in order. Anyone can work station after 
station, many times oven using less than 
perfect antenna systems with 100 watts. 
That's not always the case with QRP. Be 
prepared for some missed calls. You'll also 
find that the other guy will cut the QSO short 
once you announce that you're running 
QRR I feel personally responsible for mak- 
ing a lot of hams overweight w r hen running 
QRR I say Tin QRP and Lhcy say, "Have to 
run to eat now, 73." T guess they are afraid 
of telling me I am 599 + on their end! 

Working All States (WAS) with QRP SSB 
is a real challenge! But, then again, many. 
many times, Tve been 599 with I watt to 
the antenna. That's part of the thrill of QRP 
— you never know what will happen. 

Running QRP 

All you need to try QRP is a transceiver. 
The onlv thins vou need to know is how 

you lower your transmit power! Now. don't 
reduce the power to five watts at once. Drop 
your power dow r n to half of what you've 
normally used in the past. 

Don't feel like jumping right into the fold 
of QRP at once? Then get together with 

Continued on page 62 

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73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 49 

The Digital Port 

Number 50 on your Feetfbpck card 

Jack Heller KB7NO 

P.O. Box 1792 

Carson City NV 89702-1792 


New Multimode Shareware 


You may he relieved to know you fairly well escaped an exercise in dull reporting: This 
month, I was determined to visit all the Web sites in "The Chart" and note changes of interest 
as well as recheck the validity of the addresses. In the midst of this task, something new 
arrived in the shack. 

I had recently checked my E-mail and 
there, from the PSK31 reflector, was a 
message about some tiling new to me. It con- 
cerned a program written by Walter 
DL4RCK, named RCKRtty. Anything with 
RTTY in the name demands immediate at- 
tention, so I inserted the address shown in 
The Chart in my browser* 

There were some pleasant surprises. I find 
there are hams looking for a Windows-based 
program for their MFJ 1 278, and here is one 
to answer the need. There is considerable 
explanation of the many features of the pro- 
gram. It handles RTTY, FACTOR, AMTOR, 
PSK31 (in controllers made for the mode), 
and CW + It performs these magic feats with 

F!ie'-.':S£tU£ Edt M eiders ■ F-Keys Log boniest help 

Rev. ! 'Ute Ssnd Macro T".f Jma, | 'A-LQ. J foil:'' 



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Ef ase, ■;. . | 

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14.080 j^JB^hd 
TX Rep: 


: RXRep: 

ffiim ii i — ! j ^ ', 

United States 

k i mN 

HA- K 







GirTMMflftSQrr "fltlrat ■ 

m r 

.. i ■ i ... ^tiiV-F* F" 
P P Searchstfifrg; T 




£ W912S 

<\ \ 

TiriT "ii ■■ in r r ° 

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i ii 

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•>--^-^— — : ■ — ■ ■■ 

,. •■ 

■ tffV WfcJilMii 

n'Tiir inn i riii nnai 

CONFIG 1 mm [22:50 1 1 1 - 1.1 .1 339. |14:S0 1 RT TY 4.5; : " lp%1 

1 1 ^i 

" ■ yFiliT W' l'jMfc w^^i^ 

Ff£. i. RCKRtty screenshoL This is the program "reading the mail" of a RTTY QSO. The 
blank upper space is for composing the transmit message. It Junctions about like any 
other Windows program, with a few unique features. The upper right box has the callsign 
of the "other" station, which it captures after the "de " in the callsign exchange. Note the 
box at the bottom with the four callsigns captured the same way, Also, the name in the 
upper right box was grabbed from the received text! The first box is the necessary one to 
have a call in for a connect on FACTOR, Also, the Aulo-CQ and Connect commands 
work only when the correct set ofF-keys are activated. There is more, and it is fascinat- 
ing. See the text and take a look for yourself This is one of the few Windows programs for 
MFJ (along with the "standards" such asAEA, KAM> and SCS), 
50 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

TNCs by SCS. AEA, KAM, MFJ, and 

The cost is reasonable. The program 
comes in several flavors, but the basic pro- 
gram sells for about $30, There is a contest 
version that costs extra. Importantly, I was 
able to download a copy for evaluation. It 
is good for 50 sessions, and then the trans- 
mit mode is supposed to shut down. In gen- 
eral, the evaluation version is not really 
crippled for operation in any mode. 

Naturally, I downloaded it along with the 
Word 97 version of the manual. The manual 
proved to be valuable, even though it didn't 
come up properly in my Word 6 software. 
Some do, some don't. It was still readable 
and is not the same file as the help file in 
the program. Not fully formatted, Lhe 
manual is about 60 pages, It would expand 
a bit if I made it look nice. 

Between the manual and the extensive 
help files, the program was slick and easy 
to gel up and talking to the PK 232MBX, 
For some programs, that is quite a hurdle. 1 
watched the indicators on the front of the 
232, and they responded correctly as I 
changed from RTTY to FACTOR and CW, 
so it looked like it was going to be a snap. 

With lhe radio playing a FACTOR tune, 
I pot the program in FACTOR Listen mode 
and it started parading characters across the 
monitor just like it was supposed to. This 
was going entirely too easily. Next came a 
learning session, as I attempted a connect 
in FACTOR, I couldn't readily find the box 
to insert the other station's call. I did soon 
find, however, that the program would sig- 
nal the 232 to put the transmitter on the air 
even if I wasn't ready. Another good sign, 
but I had to find the cure for lack of a 
callsign. Later, it became obvious where that 
callsign belongs. (See Fig, 1.) 

Il was gelling late in the day and signals 
were waning, so I tried something else, I 
gave a listen on RTTY found the button to 
reverse the tones, and found good copy in 
that mode. Since RTTY is a little less fussy 
about entering the caUsign, I thought I 
would simply try a CQ. 

More learning. The CQ is automated and 
wouldn't be much problem, except I had 
somehow lost my call from where I had 
entered it in the program during setup. Af- 
ter reentering the call, it was necessary to 
reboot the program so the call would stay, 
Back to the automated CQ. One of the se- 
crets is to have the programmable function 
keys activated Among those functions lies 
the automated CQ. 

First QSO 

While I was fiddling with this, and il was 
getting darker outside with the consequent 
weakening of signal strength, I had gotten 

to the point thai a eluni\\ CQ was coming 
forth, albeit in reverse format. And ... it was 
answered! Magic! 

The calling station A A0FT explained that 
m\ signal was "upside down" (Again.) It 
seems that is the default on start-up. I can 
live with that. I had just discovered die fact 
at the lime George explained it to me. 

As you would expect, I told hiin about 
this newfound software I was trying out on 
him. George had not heard of it either, but 
he had an old MFJ 1 278 kicking around that 
needed software. Could I tell him where I 
found this magic package? By then, the copy 
was really garbling. J know thai rhymes with 
warbling, but il is not the same. 

George gave me his E-mail address. I had 
him repeat it until 1 was sure I had it straight, 
and sent him the information al hand via E- 
mail. It is strange how I come upon these 
coincidental circumstances so often when 
I get on the air. In this case, 1 had just 

Source for: 

Web address (URL): 

Pasokon SSTV programs & hardware 


PSK31 — Free — orig. PSK31 — 
also Logger .html 

Site with links to PSK31 and Logger 


PSKGNR — Front end for PSK31 

TAPR — Lots of info 


TNC to radio winng help 

ChromaPIX and ChromaSound DSP 


Tlmewave DSP & AEA products 

www.ti mewa ve .com 

Auto tuner and other kits 


XPWare — TNC software with 
sample DL 

RCKRtty Windows program with free 



HF serial modem plans & RTTY 


SV2AGW free Win95 programs 

Source for BayPac BP-2M 

BayCom — German site 

BayCom 1 .5 and ManuaLzip in 

N1 RCT site — excellent RTTY ref . 

http://www.mega fink/net/- n1 ret/ 

Intl Visual Communication Assn. — 
nonprofit org. dedicated to SSTV 

Creative Services Software 

Table /. 'The infamous chart. Almost everything ... 

happened on a piece of software and the first 
QSO turns out to be someone who has a 
need for just that package. 

A new URL added 

There came another revealing experience 
tt hen George answered ni> E-mail message. 
He had a I read) found the site by using the 
N I RCT Web site. So I look a look. This has 
references and links to just about everything 
I can recall seeing, plus a tew new ones. It 
is not strictly a RTTY site as the name im- 
plies. You will find information and pro- 
grams for almost every digital mode* and 
many sound card applications thai are well 
worlh a look-see. The URL is now listed in 
Table I. 

Back to the project 

Every now and then a piece of E-mail 
shows up on my doorstep and I send off an 
answer without further thought. Specifi- 
cally* readers want verification on a Web site 
URI.. In those cases. I simply call up the 
Web site in question and copy and paste the 
correct address in the E-mail reply with 
whatever explanation is relevant. 

There was nothing wTong \\ ith thai, until 
I realized it was time to look down the list 
of references in Table 1 that reuularlv ac- 
companies this column. I wouldn't have 
considered this if I had not been reading a 
recent articte by Terry Mayhan K7SZL in 
QST (Oct., Nov.) about his latest develop- 
ment, a FACTOR interface that works with 
PACTOR freeware developed by Tom 

Al that time, I realized that Tom had 
changed his Web site address. Not too bad 
a problem as yet, I accessed the old URL 
addrcsN and found a forwarding link to the 
new address, so the chart wasn't yet telling 
a lie. 

Then it came to me that I wasn't really 
keeping you. my readers, abreast of the lat- 
est happenings. Plus, I wanted to confirm 
that the original information was still intact 
on the Web site, which concerns an inex- 
pensive serial modem that allows the use of 
the HamComm shareware for RTTY II is 
still there on the revamped and expanded 
Web site. 

Radio sounds 

Plus, Terry has added so much useful in- 
formation for those wishing to get starred 
in digital hamming on a budget. If you have 
ever wondered what RTTY FACTOR, 
SSTV, or PSK31 sound like, he has wave 
files of the sounds as you will hear them 
over the air When vou tune around 14.065- 

73 Amateur Radio Today ■ J an/ Feb 2000 51 

14.090, you hear RTTY, PACTOR, and 
PSK3 1 — all next lo each other, which can 
be confusing until you get a handle on the 
sounds of each mode. 

1 have no real reason to build the 
PACTOR interface, as I already have the 
mode available with the PK-232MBX. 
The thought did cross my mind that it 
would make another nice portable gadget 
that I could point to as a do-it-yourself 

I am still using the original serial mo- 
dem for RTTY and SSTV that I made from 
the K7SZL circuitry a year or so ago. Any- 
way, Terry has made a way for you to gel 
on PACTOR for quite a bit less than a 
hundred dollar bill. Well worth the look. 

Proceeding on lo verify other Web site 
addresses, I stopped by the XPWare URL 
and found everything prcuy much the way 
I had last remembered. Since I do have a 
working copy of the program for my AEA 
PK-232MBX, I checked for upgrades, There 
are at least a page of changes to the pro- 
gram, with only a few minor changes that 
apply to my particular usage. Good to know 
Gary keeps on top of his product, must be 
time to update. 



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Another program for MFJ 

Since there have been inquiries about 
software for the MFJ 1278, the Web site 
reminded me that a DOS program is posted 
and an evaluation copy available for down- 
load. This may be what some of you are 
looking for. 

A look at the TigerTronics page is infor- 
mative. They still have the original packet 
and multimode modems in vest-pockel sizes 
that they build and market under agreement 
with BayCom. They also have the BayCom 
version 1 .6 software which is a commercial 
copy of the excellent software developed for 
packeL The price is $20, and I am sure it 
works well- 1 have used the v. 1 ,4, and it is 
the program I have come back to when I 
couldn't get some of the other programs to 
operate the BayCom modem or its clones. 
You will find ihey have branched out a 
bit, They are building and marketing an 
APRS system that sounds very good. It ap- 
pears to have all the bells and whistles, and 
you can pick the combination to fit your 
needs and pocketbook. The original share- 
ware they used to have on the Web site for the 
multimode modem is no longer available 

there. I would imag- 
ine the help-line 
calls Tor items for 
which ihey received 
no revenue played a 
determining factor 
in that deletion. 
However, the over- 
all look of the Web 
site shows that they 
have surveyed the 
needs of the ham 
community and are 
working to fill those 

In keeping with 
that thought, Tiger- 
Tronics has also 
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comes in varying 
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Other BayCom 

I checked the 
URL in Table 1 to 
see that the Bay- 
Com v, 1 .5 software 
was still available. It 

is. Short story on that: I downloaded it once 
upon a time and never used it. The 1 .4 works 
well but I couldn't find a site where that 
freeware version was still available. After a 
long search, this site came up, so there is a 
freeware version of the BayCom software 
still available. 

Speaking of the small packet modems, I 
still have the LDG Electronics clone of the 
BayCom 1200b packet modem. LDG dis- 
continued that one, but they have other ham 
equipment of interest I am using one of the 
AT-1 1 tuners, and it does a bang-up job as a 
mobile application. Looking a little further 
on the Web site, I found that they are now 
handling a line of mobile antennas at a very 
competitive price. And there are other items 
worth a visit to take a look at, too. 

Another PTT circuit for sound card 

I thought 1 knew all there was to see on 
the Silieon Pixels site, bull look a look any- 
way. They still have the excellent sound card 
programs for SSTV and DSP, but as 1 
looked, [ saw a link to a site with a PTT 
circuit you can build yourself. It is not a lot 
unlike the Lectrokit PSK1 reviewed in the 
August issue of 73 magazine. 

After thinking about it for a bit, I real- 
ized why the ChromaPIX authors had 
searched out a source for the PTT system. 
They had published circuitry to cause the 
automatic PTT, but lacked detailed docu- 
mentation. This circuit is well documented, 
and docs everything needed for use of their 
sound board programs as well as Tor PSK31. 

When I followed the link for the PTT cir- 
cuitry to [ 
estebanl/], I found it was primarily in Span- 
ish, That can be a little scary for those of us 
who are language-challenged. However, the 
information you want is available in very 
well written English, with US sources for 
parts and listed part numbers. 

I hadn't looked in on the Pasokon SSTV 
site for a while. I found that it has been re- 
done not only with some good information 
on the program, but also with some good 
motivating material to gel you going on 
SSTV And the stress is on economy. John 
Lungston has several nice programs and all 
the information to get you started. 

I thought, as I was looking at John's Web 
site, how the ham sites all have links that usu- 
ally include each other so that you can get the 
whole picture about what you are getting into. 
It all fits together. A great hobby. 

If you have questions or comments about 
this column, please E-mail me at 
[]. I will gladly share what 
I know or find a resource for you. For now, 
73, Jack KB7NO. 

52 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

Homing in 

Number 53 on your Feedback card 

Radio Direction Finding 

Joe Moell RE, K0OV 
P. 0. Box 2508 

Fullerton CA 92837 
[Homing in © 


Foxhunting at Hamcon-99 — and More 

The ideal contest for a convention or ham f est is a hidden transmitter hunt (often called a 
foxhunt). When properly presented, it combines intrigue, education, and good exercise. If the 
budget permits, there can be valuable prizes, too. More and more convention organizers are 
following the example of the ARRL Southwestern Division, which has had a radio direction 
finding (RDF) contest at its annual convention (Hamcon) almost every year for decades. 

What attracts hams to conventions and 
ham tests? Seeing new equipment? 
B uvine and selling at the ilea market? In- 
teresting speakers? Yes, all of the above, and 
more. The food? Nothing great at Dayton, 
but the Santa Barbara Hamfest tri-tip beef 
is always a treat. 

What about friendly competitions? I re- 
member the great QLF Contests of years 
past where everyone howled with laughter 
as ordinarily highly proficient CW experts 

Photo A. A lightweight beam. attenuatOK 
and handie-talkie or scanner makes a 
simple and inexpensive on foot RDF setup. 
This dual-band vagi gets bearings on both 
the two meter fundamental and the third 

tried sending Code with their left feet* One 
local summer 'fest in my area still has a 
Transformer Toss. Would-be Schwarz- 
eneggers see how far they can heave an old 
copper- and-i run monster, swinging it by its 

Who needs cars? 

A real winner, though, is a foxhunt. But 
if satisfying everyone is the goal, a 
convention's Foxhunt Chairperson faces a 
dilemma. The hunt has to be hard enough 
to give a challenge to experienced RDFers, 
yet simple enough that no one goes away 
empty-handed, even first-timers. Tt has to 
be suitable for the capabilities of young and 
old, whether physically fit or physically 

All-on-foot hunts are growing in popu- 
larity over mobile hunts among hamfest 
sponsors, for several reasons. All ages can 
take part, as no driving is required. Every- 
one slays close by the hamfest site instead 
of ending up dozens of miles away. Fami- 
lies and friends can watch and cheer. A 
simple RDF setup such as a small beam, 
active attenuator, and handie-talkie gives 
excellent performance (Photo A). Hams 
who fly to the Test can hunt without having 
to outfit a rental car. 

Another reason for having on-foot 
foxhunts at hamfests is to encourage hams 
(and prospective hams) to learn about in- 
ternational-style foxhunting, sometimes 
called radio-orienteering or ARDF. Perhaps 
l here is a future ARDF" champion waiting 
to be discovered. With that in mind, the 
Fullerton Radio Club was eager to take re- 
sponsibility for the foxhunt at the 1999 
ARRL Southwestern Division convention 
on the first weekend of October. The task 
of hiding the foxes fell to me + 

The best venue for an on-foot foxhunt 
near the Queen Maiy (Hamcon-99 location) 
is AngeFs Gate Park in San Pedro, This 130- 
acre site, formerly Fort Mac Arthur, includes 
everything from well-groomed picnic areas 
to desolate patches of barren ground. Eleva- 
tion ranges from 120 feet above sea level 
near the coast to 300 feet at the Marine Ex- 
change, It's the site of United Radio Ama- 
teur Club's Field Davs, so it wasn't difficult 
for Jim WA6MZV and Bev WA6T1U Pit- 
man of URAC to get a permit for us to use it. 

From 1 888 to 1982, this land was full of 
fortifications and munitions for defense of 
the vital deep-water harbor of Los Angeles. 
Its giant mortars and artillery could lob 
1500-pound shells 14 miles out to sea dur- 
ing the First World War. Radar and com- 
mand centers for Nike missiles were housed 
there for 20 years following the Korean War. 
All the guns and electronics are gone now, 
and the extensive network of underground 
tunnels has mostly collapsed. But many of 
the gun mounts and ammunition storage bun- 
kers remain. There are countless nooks and 
crannies, ideal for placing hidden transmitters 
(Photo B). 

Fort Mac Arthur, named after a Civil War 
Medal of Honor winner who also was a 
commanding general in the Spanish- Ameri- 
can War, is now in the National Register of 
Historic Places. Portions of the bunkers are 
now a museum, open to the public on week- 
ends. Mike Taylor of the museum staff was 
eager to host our foxhunt. 

Mike had some clever hiding places to 
suggest. For instance, one fox ended up in 
a pile of surplus ammunition cases for sale 
outside the museum store. Hams are used to 
foxboxes built into ammo cans, but finding 

Continued on page 54 
73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 53 

Photo B. Fihxhunit r.\ \u tinned over Battery Farley-Osgood at old Fort MacArrhur. 
Microtrammitters were out of sight in metahvork atop Battery Farley and in a display of 

ammunition cans in front of the museum at ground level. 

Photo C 77k? 1 museum volunteer in the hack seat is actually sitting on a hidden transmit- 
ter. No hunters found it. 

Homing In 

continued from page 33 

this one was like looking for one particular 
egg inside a henhouse. 

I had some other ideas lor dastardly hid- 
ing locations near the museum, and Mike 
readily obliged. For instance, we put a 
fox box out of sight under the back seat of 
an old jeep that the museum \ olumecrs were 
driving around the grounds (Photo C). An 

54 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

ammo can was already mounted in plain 
sight between the jeep's front seats [a poor 
man's glove box), but theT wasn't in there! 

Perhaps the sneakiest museum fox was a 
micro-transmitter in the rucksack on one of 
the young Army "soldiers" i Photo D ). Only 
three sharp-eyed foxhunters noticed the an- 
tenna wire sticking a couple oi inches out 
of his pack. 

From a hider's standpoint, one of the big* 
gest attractions of the park is Batteries John 

Barlow and Saxon. Their immense concrete 
fortifications and rooms are in a two-acre 
pit, accessible by steep staircases. T had sev- 
eral great fox spots there all picked out. 
Then, a week before the hunt, a production 
company moved in to make a movie. Its 
security force wouldn't let anyone approach 
the pit, even with a permit, so we had to 
declare that area off limits. Fortunately, no 
tllming was taking place on hunt day, or wc 
might have had to stay out of the entire north 
section of the park because of their noise 

LiviiV ia vida ROCA 

There is no perfect time period tor a con- 
vention foxhunt. OurHamcon is primarily 
a two-day event, Saturday and Sunday. Hav- 
ing the hunt on Saturday would eliminate 
the opportunity to have a day to promote 
the event. There are too many other com- 
peting activities on Saturday, anyway. Thai's 
why Hamcon foxhunts are traditionally tin 
Sunday afternoon, right after the grand prize 
drawing. There are always a few no-shows f 
as people change their plans overnight and 
some out-of-tow ners decide to head for 
home earlv. 

All day Saturday, members of Fullerlon 
Radio Club staffed the sign-up table and 
explained the basics of foxhunting to inter- 
ested visitors. The Foxhunt Forum ut 10 a.m. 
drew a good crowd. Alter reviewing the 
sign-ups Saturday evening, we decided to 
divide the individual competitors into three 
divisions: Juniors (age 18 and under}. Prime 
(ages 19 to 49), and Masters (age 50 and 
up). There was also a separate team divi- 
sion for newcomers who felt unprepared for 
solo hunting, and to accommodate the 
handicapped (Photo Eh Only two persons 
could he on a team. A team could carry only 
one RDF set 

Worldwide standard radio-orienteering 
rules, as prescribed by the International 
Amateur Radio Union (IARUh aren't suit- 
able for casual ham f est hunts. IARU re- 
quires five transmitters in a very large forest, 
all on the same frequency and on-air in ro- 
tating sequence for one minute each at a 
time. The trans mi iters must be station arv. 
with a prominent orienteering flag nearby. 
Contestants are started at interv als and limed 



For walking/running hamfest hunts. it's 
better to have more transmitters, more fre- 
quencies, more frequent transmissions, and 
more outrageous fox locations. This is simi- 
lar to an event called the "ARDF Technical 
Session*" in Asia. Some hams in the USA 
call it '"Radio-Orienteerine in a Compact 
Area" (ROCA). "Homing In" for February 

1 999 has the story of a 6- fox ROC A in the 
San Francisco Bay Area and "Homing En" 
for September 1999 details the 16-fox event 
at the 1999 Dayton Hamvention. 

In a ROCA, the emphasis is on RDF skill, 
not athletic ability. You win by finding the 
most transmitters within a fixed lime period. 
An hour and a hall' is about right. It's long 
enough to maximize the foxhunting fun, 
without being so long as to be beyond some 
hunters* endurances. Everyone starts at the 
same time. 

Each Hanicon-99 foxbox or antenna had 
a tag, about halt the size of a stamp, with a 
unique 3-digit control number. Sometimes 
— the rucksack fox for example — the tag 
was the only part of the fox that was vis- 
ible. Before the starting horn sounded, each 
competitor was given a slip of paper on 
which to write the control numbers as they 
were found. The paper had a list of all foxes, 
a description of their sounds, and their fre- 
quencies. To get credit, the comet control 
number had to be written on the correct 
transmitter line. 

I was concerned that most hunters would 
simply start at the top of the list and go af- 
ter the first fox they could hear, resulting in 
a pack of hunters playing tm follow' the 
leader/* To spread them out. I made several 
versions of die frequency slip, each with 
foxes listed in different order 

A ROCA record 

My goal was to have 21 radio foxes on 
the air at start time, Clarke Harris WB6ADC 
and Mike Obermeier KD6SNE loaned a to- 
tal of four, and the rest were mine. One was 
dead-on-arrival at the park and a couple of 
others didn't last for the full hunt time, but 
the remaining 18 were more than enough 
to challenge the 21 hunters from all over 
southern California. Eleven hunted as indi- 
viduals, while the rest chose to be in the 
two-person Team Division, 

Six foxes were on or within 10 kHz of 
the southern California coordinated T-hunt 
frequency (146,565 MHz), Hunters didn't 
know it, but they were all physically close 
too, within about a 900-fooi-dtameter circle 
near the start/finish area in front of the mu- 
seum. Since half of these si\ transmitted 
continuously and the rest intermittently, the 
QRM should have made them the hardest 
to identify and track down. Nevertheless, 
most hunters spent much of the hunt period 
on these six foxes. All but three hunters 
found at least one of them. 

The rest of the transmitters were each on 
separate frequencies throughout the two- 
meter band. That made RDFing for them 
easier but there was plenty of leg work 

Photo D. A micro-Twos in this rucksack of the "soldier" in the center. Only three hunters 
identified it. Clarke Horris WB6ADC at left is suspicious. 

Photo E. Working together, Dennis Schwendmer WB60BB (left} and Marvin Johnston 
KE6HTS found the most foxes. Despite his blindness, WB60BB has been foxhunting far 
two decades. 

needed to get there. Those foxboxes were 

widely scattered throughout the park, in- 
cluding the southwest, southeast and north- 
east comer areas. 

Just to make it more interesting, there 
were some decoy (nontran&ntitting) de\ ices 
and tags out there. \VB6ADC\ tov soldier 
radio/phone with flashing LED and antenna 
tag got lots of attention as it lay in a guard 
shack. One competitor decided dial it was 
transmitting on 146.565 MHz. But as the 

others figured out, its only emissions were 
on lightwave frequencies. Many folks care- 
fully examined the ammunition can with 
antenna next to a vintage artillery gun on 
display, but it didn't fool anyone for long. 
In lARU-niles hunts, a good topographi- 
cal map is a necessity, to plan an efficient 
5-fox route and avoid getting lost in the woods. 
Since Angel's Gate Park is fairly open land, a 
map isn't needed. But I made one up and 
handed it out anyway. Most hunters ignored 

73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 55 

Photo E This commercial quad provides 
great sensitivity and directivity* but HI bet 
it got heavier and heavier as the hunt went 

it and took off after the foxes they could 
hear. But a few used it to practice for up- 
coming formal ARDF events, marking their 
bearings carefully and planning strategy. 
The map was certainly useful to me, as my 

Photo G. To get credit for one of the foxes, you had to identify which of the 11 antennas 
on my van was radiating. This hunter is working on the problem with a miniature RF 



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finders provide 2 degree 

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Box 2780 Carefree. AZ 85377 
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secret marked copy made ii much easier to 

round up all the foxboxes after the hunt was 

I don't think any two of the hunters' RDF 

setups were alike* A few were large and 

heavy (Photo F). 
Some beginners used 
only their handhelds 
and the body-shield- 
ing technique to get 
directivity. Quite a 
few carried the 
beam/attc n u ator/HT 
setup mentioned 

The micro-T atop 
Battery Farley- 
Osgood with "Ring- 
ing Phone" audio 
was the one found 
by the most com- 
petitors (eleven). 
Two of the transmit- 
ters were under- 
ground. One was 
buried under vegeta- 
tion on a slope. The 
other dangled by a 
chain from a grate 
covering one of the 
fort's water storage 
cisterns. Each of 
them was found by 
only one hunter. 

Nobody wrote 
down the right 

■_ ■ » 

•c * ■: 

control number for the transmitter in my 
van. There were tags on all eleven of the 
van's antennas, so the choice wasn't easy 
for those without good "sniffing" gear 
(Photo G). 

Hamcon's budget was tight this year, so 
the usual big cash prizes were not available* 
Fortunately, our club was able to obtain 
plenty of inexpensive merchandise dona- 
lions for the prize raffle. Every individual 
and team received one raffle ticket for each 
correct control number on their slips. In 
addition, first place in each division received 
a small cash prize. 

Everybody who stayed for the entire hunt 
found at least one of the transmitters- No- 
body was shut out, I think that everyone 
went home with at least one prize from the 
raffle table. 

The main goal for Hamcon/Foxhunt-99 
was for it to challenge the experts while 
encouraging the beginners. From the par- 
ticipant feedback after the raffle, it was 
evident that we succeeded* Several first- 
timers later sent E-mails thanking the club 
for hosting this event. 

Does this inspire you to include 
foxhunting at your own club's next conven- 
tion or outdoor event? The cold weather 
months are an ideal time to build up some 
foxboxes and RDF gear, so let's get going. 
Visit the "Homing In" Web site for infor- 
mation on the basics of foxhunting and fox 
hiding. I want to hear how the sport is tak- 
ing hold in your area, so please send your 
hunt reports and stories to my E-mail ^r 
postal address. 


Amateur Radio Via Satellites 

Number 57 on your Feedback card 

Andy MacAllister W5ACM 

14714 Knights Way Drive 

Houston TX 77083-5640 

You Can Make Hamsat Contacts Now 

Using the resources of our amateur radio satellites can be one of the most enjoyable and 
exciting ham radio activities you may ever experience. Do you remember your first ham radio 
contact? Your first "via hamsat' can be just as exhilarating! Many hams who have sampled 
typical ham activities like VI IF-FM repeaters, shortwave communications, packet, amateur 
television, etc., have found satellite chasing as a new, high-tech medium in which to pursue 
their favorite modes. 

When OSCAR-1 (Orbiting Satellite 
Carrying Amateur Radio) was 
launched in 1961, very few hams had the 
gear to listen for its two-meter CW down- 
link. Later, when hamsats were designed to 
be erossband linear repeaters in the sky, the 
gear to work them was still a bit exotic. 
Mullimode VHF and UHF transceivers 
were expensive- Since then, the radios nec- 
essary for satellite operations have become 
common and some of the satellites have 
been designed to be easier to work. 

It is possible to make contacts via satel- 
lite with a decent dual-band, FM handie- 
talkie. It's been done thousands of times. 
The most popular satellite for newcomers, 
or those with FM-only VHF/UHF stations, 
is AMRAD-OSCAR-27. AMRAD stands 
for the Amateur Radio Research and De- 
velopment Corporation, a technology-ori- 
ented ham radio club located in the Virginia 
suburbs around Washington DC. A-O-27 is 
also known as the commercial satellite 

EYES AT- 1 . Confused? This microsat-based 
satellite was actually built by the 
Interferometries Corporation of Chantilly. 
Virginia, The original purpose of the satel- 
lite was to provide a demonstration platform 
for commercial store-and-forward digital 
communications. The ham radio portion of 
the spacecraft from AMRAD is an integral 
part of diis versatile system, and has become 
enormously popular. 

An easy sat for communications: 

AMRAD-OSCAR-27 is a single-channel 
FM erossband repeater. Although it was not 
built by AMSAT (The Radio Amateur Sat- 
ellite Corporation), it is based directly on 
the microsat spacef rame that was developed 
years before for AMSAT-OSCAR-16 and 
others. A-O-27 circles the world in a circu- 
lar orbit at 800 kilometers once every 100.8 
minutes. The satellite is a 22-pound cube 

just over 8 inches on a side. It was launched 
on September 25, 1993, from Kourou, 
French Guiana, on an Ariane 4 rocket (mis- 
sion V59), as part of the ASAP (Ariane 
Structure for Auxiliary Payloads), Other 
passengers on this flight included the main 
pay load, SPOT-3, and other small ASAP 
satellites including HcaIthSat-2, PoSAT-1, 

Finding A-O-27 

Knowing when and where to find A-O- 
27 is the main challenge that stops many 
amateurs from initially trying (and using!) 
OSCAR satellites. The popular solution 
is using a home computer for die tracking 

To convince your computer to track sat- 
ellites, you will need software. You can find 
many varieties on the Internet. You won't 
even have to search or go far, There are 
many freeware and shareware programs 

Photo A. Chuck Duey KI0AG at a ham convention in Austin, 
Texas, nor only listens to A-O-27 1 but makes several voice con- 
tacts using only portable equipment. 

Photo ft AMRAD-OSCAR-27, a±a. EYESAT-L just before 
launch in 1993, (AMSAT- UK photo) 

73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 57 

Photo C, A-O-27 was one of five small sat- 
ellites on the Ariane ASAP (Ariane Struc- 
ture for Auxiliary Payhads) that went to 
orbit with SPOTS. 

available from AMSAT. Just go to the URL 
(Universal Resource Locaior) [http;//]. They have MS-DOS, 

!. _, . — 


Photo D> A-O-27 was launched hv an 
Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou, French 
Guiana, on September 26, 1993. 

58 73 Amateur Radio Today ■ Jan/Feb 2000 

Photo E. A-O-27 was designed for a 5-6 year lifetime. We're into the seventh year and 
going strong. 

Windows, Linux, Macintosh, Psion, HP-48. 
and even TRS-80 Model 100 satellite track- 
ing programs, Your new satellite- tracking 
software will require current orbital data to 
provide accurate results. AMSAT's Web site 
has that, too. Follow the instructions with 
the software, and you'll be tracking in no 

After you have die software properly run- 
ning, you will discover that A-O-27 is above 
your horizon four to six times a dav between 
the local hours of 8 a.m. and noon, and 8 
p.m. and midnight. There are two to three 
morning passes and two to three evening 
passes. This is because A-O-27 is in a "sun 
synchronous" orbit. It comes by about the 
same time every day due to the characteris- 
tics of the orbiL The satellite is only ON for 
the morning passes. The A-O-27 ground- 
control stations set the satellite to be active 
for specific periods of time only when it is 
illuminated and the batteries are charging. 
Good power management may be part of 
the reason A-O-27 is doing so well after 
many active years in space. 

Working A-O-27 

The FM uplink frequency is 145.850 
MHz. The FM downlink is on 436.797 
MHz. Unlike a typical terrestrial repeater, 
the apparent frequencies change during the 
course of a pass. This is caused by Doppler 
shift. When the satellite is approaching you, 
the downlink will appear to be as much as 
9 kHz high. When the satellite is at its clos- 
est point, with respect to you, the signal will 
be centered on 436.797 MHz, As the satel- 
lite travels away, the apparent frequency can 
be as much as 9 kHz low. Most FM-only 

UHF transceivers, HTs, and scanners won*t 
tune in 1-kHz increments. This isn't a prob- 
lem, since the signal is FM. and a few kHz 
won't hamper the intelligibility of the sig- 
nal Before a pass begins, set the radio or 
scanner to 436,805 MHz. During the pass, 
tune down in 5-kHz increments to get the 
best reception. 

The effect on the two-meter uplink is only 
one-third as much. For most operations, 
adjusting the uplink frequency is not nec- 
essary. Just set the two-meter transmit fre- 
quency to 145.850 MHz and leave it. The 
satellite's receiver is sufficiently broad to 
accept uplinks that are 2 to 3 kHz off. 

If you are using a simple whip antenna 
on a dual-band HT, you can hear A-O-27 
best by moving the antenna around for op- 
timum reception. This is always true for a 
beam, and helps with any antenna due to 
the constantly changing orientation of the 
satellite with respect to ground stations. 

When received signals sound respectable, 
rhe HT antenna will also be optimized for 
your uplink. If you get into the satellite's 
receiver, you will be able to hear the down- 
link at the same time. This can cause feed- 
back if you have a full-duplex radio (capable 
of receiving on one band while transmitting 
on the other) and are not using an earphone. 

Avoid this! If you can't get into the satel- 
lite, you don't have enough power, or you 
are trying to get in during an active week- 
end, or both. First-timers have their best 
results on quiet weekday passes. Most A- 
0-27 operators want newcomers to succeed. 
It means more folks to talk to and more grid 
squares to collect. 

Most successful handie-talkie stations 

have five watts for the two-meter uplink and 
a small dual-band beam, but, with some skill 
and practice, a number of excellent contacts 
have been achieved with only whip anten- 
nas, too* Start listening and experimenting 
now. and make sure you know your grid 
square. It's become a standard part of the 

Finding out more about A-O-27 

In addition to the information and links 
available from AMSATs Web site, there are 
some really good books and publications for 
hamsat enthusiasts. My favorite reference 
is the 370-page The Radio Amateur's Satel- 
lite Handbook by Marty Davidoff K2UBC. 
It's published by the American Radio Re- 
lay League for $22, An inexpensive publi- 
cation from AM SAT, Mow to Use the 
Amateur Radio Satellites gives a snapshot 
of the characteristics and operation of ev- 
ery currently available hamsat Both publi- 
cations (and many others) are available from 
AMSAT at (301) 589-6062. AMSAT also 
publishes a bi-monthly publication, The 
AMSAT Journal for AMSAT members. If 
you have questions about AMSAT member- 
ship or publications, call the number above 
or send E-mail to [martha®], I\U 
see you on A-O-27! 


con tinned from page 6 

that the FCC has never had, does not now 
have, and never will have any loan pro- 
grams. But I asked the question anyway, and 
here is die answer from Danny Rittenberry: 
"Thank you for contacting the Federal Com- 
munications Commission (FCC). Unfortu- 
nately, the FCC has no loan programs " 

Is there any doubt that we have been horn- 

I have instructed my attorney to start pro- 
ceedings for either a class action lawsuit or 
the seeking of a court injunction to stop the 
FCC and the rest of the government from 
their cheap scam. I'll keep you posted — 
thanks for your support. 

Gregg is absolutely right. The FCC has 
no damned business demanding our SSNs, 
and theARRL made a gross mistake in sup- 
porting the FCC on this. — Wayne. 

New Millennium Wish List 

continued from page 13 

talk coasl-io-coast (plus a bit farther at 
times) via AO-27 (Photo D). If you 

like exciting activities, you'll love 


This relatively new OSCAR also 
carries an FM repeater, and it too can 
be accessed using a hand-held talkie 
or a low power and lull duplex FM 
mobile transceiver. Its uplink fre- 
quency is 436.300 MHz and its down- 
link 145,825 MHz, but these can be 
changed for some very interesting ac- 
tivities. SO-35 can also be configured 
as a single frequency parrot repeater 
receiving for 8 seconds and then re- 
transmitting what it copied during the 
following 8 seconds. As this article is 
being written, SO-35 is expected to be 
released for regular use any day. Moni- 
tor the AMSAT Net on 14.282 MHz 
Sundays at 1900 GMT for the latest 
news, and check Andy MacAllistcr 
W5ACM's '*Hamsats" column for more 


Tliis low-orbiting Russian sat re- 
ceives on 15 meters and relays signals 
on 10 — a mode *'KA" operation. 
Typically, you can operate RS-13 us- 
ing no more than 50 watts of uplink 
power to a vertical or dipole antenna 
while receiving its downlinked signals 
in a similar way. You can even operate 
through RS-13 while mobile, Again, 
more will be forthcoming here in 73, 

Rig users- nets 

These nets are great if you're de- 
voted to collecting or restoring classic 
gear or want to stay abreast of the lat- 
est in accessories and modifications 
for a new or existing rig, The fre- 
quency and time listings for the 
Kenwood and Yaesu nets, incidentally, 
were missing from my log notes. 
Please send if you have. 


I hope you now have a better idea 
about these hot topics in today's ham 
radio. Not to be forgotten in the new 
73 will also be coverage of such other 
popular interest areas as fox hunting 
(ARDFing — see Joe Moell K0QV's 

"Homing In"), microwaves (Chuck 
Houghton WB6IGP*s "Above and Be- 
yond ,, ) 1 antennas, new products, and of 
course 73's long-time staple, great 
construction projects. 

There is something for everyone in 
this new millennium's amateur radio, 
regardless of license class, age, gear, 
or budget. Go for it! 

Secrets of Transmission Lines 

continued from page 35 

around the twinlcad. This makes a ca- 
pacitor. See whether you can find a 
location along the twin lead where you 
can make the line impedance match 
or flatten out on the generator side, 
Try the same trick with a 600-ohm 


Next time, we will conclude the se- 
ries and present some computer pro- 
grams suited to transmission line 
work and impedance matching, as 
well as have a general discussion on 
which circuits are appropriate for 
which impedances. 

On the Go 

continued from page 40 

Because of this, it is often preferable to 
not have CTCSS activated on a repeater. Of 
course, if there are two repeaters on the 
same frequency located near each other, that 
is another story. Many limes, when you hear 
a particular repeater you can be pretty cer- 
tain that you can hit it. At other times, the 
path may be only in one direction, so you 
can hear a repeater and not hit it or even be 
solidly into a particular repeater without 
hearing it. 

Try it! 

The hottom line is that ten meter FM is a 
great aspect of the hobby. Tt is possible to 
work the world with a minimum of equip- 
ment and effort. With the repeater frequen- 
cies standardized, picking a frequency is 
almost automatic. Contacts are often short, 
to allow many hams to get in on the action. 
The biggest problem? Sometimes those who 

Continued on page 61 
73 Amateur Rndio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 50 


Number 60 on your feedback card 

Jim Gray W1XU/7 

210 E. Chateau 

Payson AZ 35541 


Happy New Year! 

As you can see from the calendar, Janu- 
ary will provide everything from Good (G) to 
Very Poor (VP) radio propagation condi lions 
on ihe HF bands. 

Briefly, you may expect seasonally good 
(G) propagation from January 1-10, but con- 
ditions arc expected to deteriorate for the 
next three weeks, ranging from only Fair 
(F) to Very Poor (VP)- 

The worst days are anticipated January 
14—16, 23-25. and 28-30, when a disturbed 
magnetic field and ionospheric storms are 
likely. Severe signal Hiding and even short- 
lived communications ^blackouts" over po- 
lar propagation paths may be expected on 
HF bands above 40 meters. Prepare for other 
geophysical effects, such as severe winter 
weather in the northern hemisphere, during 
(P) and (VP) periods. 

The best advice is to he prepared with 
emergency power, food, water, and warm 
clothing, and continue to monitor WWV at 
eighteen minutes after any hour for the latest 
reports of Solar Flux. B A, and BK indices. 

The 80-75 and 40-30 meter bands should 
provide some good, low-noise activity in the 
US, Canada, and South/Central America, 
but DX will depend on a relatively quiet 
magnetic field. On the poor days, however, 
dorr t despair, since transequatorial skip and 
over-lhe-poles signals will be present. The 
polar paths will be weak and full of echoes, 
whereas the transequatorial path will pro- 
vide stronger signals, sometimes even on 
poor days. 

The J 60 meter band ought to be good for 
much of the month, so watch the calendar 
for the good and fair days. The 20/18 meter 
and 15/12 meter bands will suffer the most 
along with 10 meters this month, so don't 
expect miracles. Perhaps in February we'll 
see some improvement, and March ought 
to gel us back on the road to good world- 
wide DX conditions on all bands. Lei's wait 
and see. 

Remember to check the bands above and 
below the suggested ones for possible DX 
surprises. It's often a good idea to park your 
receiver on a seemingly unused frequency 
and just wait. A DX station is very likely to 
pop up before any one else hears him, and 
you can snag a good catch. 

60 73 Amateur Radio Today * J an/ Feb 2000 


Seasonal effects: 
February is a transi- 
tion month between 
December's winter 
solstice (shortest 
days and least ion- 
ization in the north- 
ern hemisphere) and 
the spring equinox 
in March when 
equal hours of day- 
light and darkness 
occur and propaga- 
tion is considered to 
be the best of the year. 

Therefore, you can expect February to 
provide at least a week nnd maybe iwo of 
excellent long-haul DX propagation on the 
HF bands, but you 
will have to pick and 
choose the best days 
(G) from the accom- 
panying calendar, 

Sunspot cycle ef- 
fects: As we ap- 
proach the antic- 
ipated maximum so- 
lar activity of Cycle 
23, propagation con- 
ditions on the HF 
bands will also im- 
prove, and these — 
coupled with im- 
proved seasonal ion- 
ization — should 
provide a good month 
for DX chasers. 

The calendar indi- 
cates that the first 
and third weeks of 
the month will be 
more favorable, 
with Good (G) con- 
ditions outweighing 
the less favorable 
Fair (F) or Poor (P) 
ones shown for the 
second and fourth 

This is a Leap Year, 
and you can see that 
the extra day, February 
29th, will be a good 

January 2000 








1 G 

2 G 

3 G 

4 G 

5 G 

6 G 

7 G-F 

8 F 

9 F-G 


11 G-F 



14 P-VP 


16 P 


18 F 


20 P-F 

21 F 


23 P 

24 F-VF 

25 VP-P 

26 P-F 

27 F-P 

28 FA/P 

29 VP-P 

30 P 

31 P F 

February notes: The bands shown are 
likely to represent the highest frequency 
available to the desired areas at the time 
shown. Work from there to a lower Ire- 


GMT: 00 02 04 06 08 10 I? !4 16 -■$ 20 22 






l r 









































































































■: : .ibC 
























































1 5 




































































I 5 

+ 5 








































20 10 














.:.,;■ mi ■■ 











































»:.'' : 3''; 




00 2G 





Table 1. January Band-Time-Country chart 

February 2000 







1 SAT 

1 G 

2 G 

3 G 

4 G-F 

5 F 

6 F 

7 F 

8 F-P 

9 F-P 

10 P-F 

11 P-F 

12 F-G 

13 G 

14 GF 



15 F-G 


19 G 

20 G 

21 G-F 

22 F 

23 F-P 

24 F-P 

25 F-P 

26 P-F 


28 F-G 

29 G 

quency band when the higher frequency 
band is not open. Shaded areas = rare, and 
only on a "good" day. Blank spaces mean 
the path is not workable at that time. %§/ 
10/20;** 10/15/20. 

Band-by-band conditions for 
January and February 

10-12 meters 

You can expect good band openings to 
the east toward Europe in the morning 
hours, with propagation slowly moving west 




;;_ 04 06 oe 

10 12 ■: 16 














1 5/20 










20/ '5 





































































1 0/1 5 












RUSSIA {C...S.) 


10/ 1 5 










r. 2C 






2ft' 10 

























20' 10 



















1 0/40 
































1 0/20 
























:-. -0 

































































1 5/30 








30.'' 15 




■ ■ 

• ■ 


























?■;> iC 





























20,'" 5 




Table 2. February Band-Time-Country chart. 

and south toward 
South America, the 
Pacific, and Asia 
during l he later af- 
ternoon hours. 

Short-skip open- 
ings between 1 ,000 
and 2,500 miles 
should occur on 
good days, 

1 5-1 7 meters 

On the good days, there should be excel- 
lent DX to many areas of the world, espe- 
cially the southern hemisphere during the 
daytime hours. Signals will peak to the 
northeast and Europe before noon and to 
other areas in the afternoon. Regular short- 
skip openings beyond 1,000 miles are likely 
on all good days- 

20 meters 

Dawn to dark (and beyond) DX openings 
can be expected on good days. Peak signal 
strengths are anticipated an hour or two af- 
ter sunrise and again in the late afternoon 

and early evening 
hours. On the best 
days, the band 
should remain open 
during the night, 
particularly to the 
southern herni sphere. 
Short skip will ex- 
tend from 500 to 
2,500 miles. 

30-40 meters 

From sundown 
through the hours of 
darkness until sun- 
rise you will find 
good DX openings 
to most areas of the 
world, particularly 
to die southern hem- 
isphere. At night, 
short skip will ex- 
tend beyond 700 
miles, and during 
the dav from LOO to 


1000 miles. Remem- 
ber that thunder- 
storms will begin to 
present themselves 
during daylight 
hours in some areas 
of the world, bring- 
ing static that could 
limit communica- 
tions. You'll just 

have to work your way around them spa- 
tially and temporally. 

80-1 60 meters 

As spring approaches, these two bands 
tend to become quite noisy again, and the 
normally good nighttime DX openings 
will begin to be masked h\ sLuic. 

Nevertheless, you can work a lot of 
choice DX if you pick and choose our 
times of operation. During hours of dark- 
ness, 80 meters will provide some good 

Short-skip daytime openings on 80 
meters can be found out to distances of 
300 miles or so, and beyond 2,000 miles 
at night. There will be NO daytime open- 
ings on 160 meters, but DX to many ar- 
eas of the world will occur during the 
night, with occasional short-skip openings 
between about 1,000 and 2,000 miles, 

It is necessary to plan frequencies and 
times of operation to maximize the exist- 
ing possibilities for successful DXing, 
The calendars will be helpful, but careful 
listening at ALL times is necessary, I also 
recommend listening to bands above and 
below the listed ones in the charts at the 
indicated times, as well as an hour or so 
before and after the indicated times. Also 
be aware that half- hour periods surround- 
ing the transition from daylight to dark in 
your area can provide some unexpectedly 
strong signals and openings on ALL 

DX is always where and when you find 
it, but YOU must do the work. 73 and 
goodDX, WIXU/7. 

On the Go 

continued from page 59 

speak a second or third language may have 
the advantage! 

Right now wc are at the best time in the 
solar cycle to get into a new area such as 
ten meter FM The sunspot cycle is improv- 
ing and ten is starting to open up more fre- 
quently. We should have many months of 
continuing improvement before it even 
peaks, so there should be ample opportu- 
nity to enjoy this mode and band, The manu- 
facturers know this and there are a number 
of exciting new rigs just coming out (see 
the review of the Alinco DR-M03 in this 
issue). Let me hear about your experiences 
in this exciting area of ham radio! 

Say You Saw It In 73! 

73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 61 


continued from page 48 

some friends on the 10-meter band it's a 
lot of fun to sec how low you can really 
reduce your power before you're into the 
noise. Although ten meters is a great band 
with which to work the locals on ground 
wave, it can produce some fantastic results 
at times. The ten- meter band is a QRP 
operator's delight! The popular New Jersey 
FB40 transmitter kit proves il is possible to 
transmit coast to coast with 40 milliwatts! 
That's less power than the dial lights con- 
sume in most transceivers, Now, just in case 
you're not familiar with the New Jersey fire- 
ball transmitters, thev will be featured in 
an upcoming column. They operate in the 
ten -meter band. Simply key the VCC line 
and you're on the air. They run about 
30 milliwatts ( !} of RF output. 

You'll find a lot of QRP activity on 
40 meters around 7.040 and on 30 meters 
at 1 0. 1 06. Reduce your power down to 3 or 
4 watts and jump right i n ! 

QRP operators hop around the bands a 
lot You really need to change bands to see 
if there are any openings. Ten meters is a 
strange band. One minute it's dead and the 
next if s open worldwide, 

If you want to make a large number of 
QRP contacts quick, then work the contests! 
To the other guy, you're a good source of 
points. Even if you're """not in the test," just 
hand out the reports and exchanges. Some 
of the QSO parties are the best place to work 
stations. I know r vc heard guys calling "CQ 
OHIO QSO" party for hours just looking 
for a contact. Jump right in there with your 
call at two watts on SSB, You'll be heard, 1 
guarantee it! 

Efficiency is the key to QRP 

I know you've heard it before, about the 
guy who works DX with a set of old bed- 
springs. Well, that's not going to cut it with 
QRP operation. You need the best antenna 
system you can muster up. Dorf t get mc 
wrong — you don't m^d an antenna farm 
containing enough aluminum to build a B- 
52 to operate QRP successfully, but it 
wouldn't hurt either! 

Antennas are placed as high in the air as 
possible. Only the best quality feedline is 
used between rig and antenna. Resonant 
antennas instead of trapped multiband an- 
tennas provide the QRPer with improved 
efficiency* Anything you can do to increase 
efficiency will improve your chances of 
making a solid QSO. 
62 73 Amateur Radio Today * Jan/Feb 2000 

We're right in the middle of winter. It's a 
great time to check out low power opera- 
tion on 80-meter CW. There's nothing like 
corning home from work when it's cold and 
dark, then firing up the QRP rig for some 
contacts. When it's so cold that the snow 
crunches under your feet, that's a great sig- 
nal that the lower bands will be humming 
tonight! What better way to play ham radio 
than to drop the power down and dig out 
stations running low r power just like you! 

The solar flux is only getting better and 
better, so many of the higher HF bands such 
as 15 and 10 meters are staying open longer, 
Ten is a great band for SSB and a great place 
to stail running QRP! lTlbe looking for you 
on 1 0-meter CW! 


continued from page 38 

didn't have a bachelor's degree. Advanced 
degrees seem to only affect teacher's 
salaries, not their ability to teach, which 
seems to go down proportionately with 
their so-called education. 

If you want to get a good idea of what 
is really going on in our ed schools, 
please go to the library and read Rita 
Kramer's Ed School Follies. And then 
stop believing the crap the NEA is con- 
stantly drumming into us about the need 
for better teacher training, more teach- 
ers, higher salaries, and so on. Not one 
bit of that is true. 

Under the present union system in- 
competent teachers aren't fired, just 
transferred — much like pedophile 

What's the answer? Ff you can find a 
politician who will push to close all col- 
lege education departments, eliminate 
tenure, and allow school choice, get out 
there and elect him. Or hen 

More Fluorides 

In a paper sent to me by Roger Mas- 
ters of Dartmouth College, I found the 
results of an extensive study of what 
happens to people who drink water which 
has been fluoridated. 

Fluorine, as you probably know, is one 
of the most active elements known, so it 
should be no surprise that when it is 
added to our water supply, it attacks the 
pipes and the pipes' lead solder joints. 
The amount of lead this adds to the wa- 
ter supply is significant enough such that 
the study showed a children's IQ differ- 
ence of five points between fluoridated 
water and nonfluoridated. 

The study also showed that there is a 
consistent ten point IQ deficit when 

children are bottlefcd instead of breastfed. 
This just confirms many other studies 
which have shown the same deficit, 

A 15 point IQ loss can make the dif- 
ference between a college acceptance 
and a high school dropout. 

And those are just two easily con- 
trolled factors that will determine a 
child's IQ for life, I've discussed several 
others in my past editorials, and I'll try 
to put all of these together into a book to 
help new parents avoid turning their 
budding geniuses into morons through 
an ignorance of what's involved. 

Genes vs. IQ 

One of the booklets I have available is 
my recommended classical music 100 
CD Libra ty ($5). Anyway, apropos of 
geniuses, I got to thinking about sym- 
phonies, which are generally considered 
to be the heart of classical music. How 
many symphonies do you think have 
been written that are worLh listening to 
more than once? Or even once ? for that 
matter? Unless you are a classical music 
expert, you probably think there prob- 
ably are hundreds. So I sat down and 
made a quick list. I came up with fewer 
than three dozen hits! And most of them 
were written in the 19th century, with 
just a few in the early part of the 20th. 
Nothing of even the slightest note has 
been written since, 

The same thing applies to all the rest 
of classical music, including operas. 

So what's gone wrong? Where are the 
musical geniuses of a hundred years 
ago? Where are the artists, sculptors, the 
inventors, and even the writers? What's 
happened? What's gone wrong? 

There are three things thai have 
changed which fm convinced have con- 
tributed to this loss of geniuses. One has 
to do with several changes in the way we 
treat babies, both pre-natally and in early 
childhood. One has to do with our public 
school system, which has been inten- 
tionally designed to dumb us down. And 
the third has to do with poisons that have 
become popular in the last hundred 

We've done quite a job on ourselves, 
really. A hundred years ago, Alzheimer's 
was unknown, cancer was an extreme 
rarity, and so on. But that was before we 
were buried in sugar, pasteurized milk, 
breakfast cereal pop tarts, Danish, ice 
cream, and TV dinners. That was even 
before hot dogs, hamburgers, fries, and 

Maybe you've read about the recent 
research which has shown that breastfed 
babies have an average 8 to 10 point IQ 
lead on bottlefed babies. That's been 
widely published. 

Continued on page 64 

Here are some of my books which 
can change > our life (if you'D let 'emj. 
If the idea of being healthy* wealthy 
and Mine interests yon. start reading. 
Yes, v ou can be all that but only w hen 
you know the secrets which V ve spent 
a lifetime uncovering. 

The Bioelectrifier Handbook: This 
explains how to build or buy {$155 » a 
little electrical gadget that can help 
clean the blood of any virus, microbe, 
parasite, fungus or yeast. The process 
was discovered by scientists at the 
Albert Einstein College ol Medicine, 
quickly patented, and hushed up. It's 
curing AIDS* hepatitis C, and a bunch 
of other serious illnesses. The eireuii 
can be built for under S20 from the in- 
stniLiions in the book. $10 (01) 
The Secret Guide lo Wisdom: This 
is a review of around a hundred books 
that will help you change > our life No. 
I don't sell these hooks. They're on a 
wide range of subjects and will help 
to make you a very interesting person. 
Wait* II you see some of the gems 
you've missed reading. S5 {02) 
The Secret Guide to Wealth: Jusc as 
with health, you'll find that you have 
been brainwashed by "the system* 1 " into 
a pattern of life that will keep you from 
ever making much money and having 
the freedom to travel and do what you 
want, I explain how anyone can get a 
dream job with no college, no resumed 
and even without any experience. I 
explain how you can get someone to 
happily pay you to learn what you need 
to know lo start your own business. S5 

The Secret Guide to Health: Yes, 
there really is a secret to regaining your 
health and adding 30 to 60 years of 
health v living to vour life. The answer is 
simple, but it means making some dif- 
ficult lifestyle changes. Will you be 
skiing the slopes of Aspen with me 
when you're 90 or doddering around a 
nursing home ' Or pushing up daisies? 
No, I'm noi selling any health prod- 
ucts. 55 (04) 

My WWII Submarine Adventures: 
Yes t 1 spent from 1943-1945 on a sub- 
marine, right in the middle of the war 
with Japan. We almost got sunk several 
times, and twice I was in the right place 
at the right time to save the boat. 
What's it really like to be depth 
charged? And what's the daily life 
aboard a submarine like? How about 
the Amelia Ear hart inside story ?rf 
you're near Mobile, please visit the 
Drum. $5(10) 

Wayne's Caribbean Adventures: My 
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visit the hams and scuba dive most of 
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visit II countries in 21 days, diving 
alE but one of the islands, Guadeloupe, 
where the hams kept me too busy with 
parties. S5 CI 2) 

Cold Fusion Overview; This is both 
a brief history of cold fusion, which I 
predict will be one of the largest in- 
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tury; plus a simple explanation of how 
and why it works. This new field is 
going to generate a whole new bunch 
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computer industry did. $5 (20) 
Cold Fusion Journal: They laughed 
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growth in 1975, PCs are now the third 
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fusion ground floor is still wide open, 
but then that might mean giving up 
watching ball games. Sample: $10(22), 
Julian Sch winger: A Nobel laureate's 
taik about cold fusion — confirming its 
validity, 52 (24) 

Improving State Government: Here 
aie 24 ways that state governments can 
cut expenses enormously, while pro- 
viding far better service. I explain haw 
any government bureau or department 
can be gotten to cut ii> expenses by at 
least 50% in three vears and do it co- 


opera lively and enthusiastically, I ex- 
plain how. by applying a new technoi* 
ogy> the stale can make it possible to 
provide all needed services without 
having to levy any taxes at all ! Read 
the book, run for your legislature, and 
let's aet hi<\ making this country work 
like its founders wanted it to. Don' I 
leave this for ''someone else" to do. $5 

Munkind\s Extinction Predictions: If 
any one of the experts who have writ- 
ten books predicting a soon-to-enme 
catastrophe which will virtually wipe 
us all out are right, we're tn trouble. In 
this book 1 explain about the various 
disaster scenarios, from Nostradamus, 
who says the poles will soon shift, wip- 
ing out 97% of mankind to Sai Baba, 
who has recently warned his follow- 
ers to gei out of Japan and Australia 
before December 6th this vear The 


worst part of these predictions is the 
accuracy record of some of the experts. 
Will it be a pole shift, a new ice age, a 
massive solar Hare, a comet or aster- 
oid, a bioterrorist attack, or even Y2K? 
Vm getting read v. how about you? 55 


Muondoggle: After reading Renews 
book* NASA Mooned America, I read 
everything 1 could find on our Moon 
landings, I watched the videos, looked 
carefully at the photos, read the 
astronaut's biographies, and talked 
with some of my readers who worked 
for NASA, This book cites 25 good 
reasons I believe ihe whole Apollo pro- 
gram liad to have been faked. S5 (32 1 
Classical Music Guide; A list of 100 
CDs which will provide you with an 
outstanding collection of the finest 

classical music ever written. Tins is 
what you need to help you reduce 
stress. Classical music also raises 
youngster's IQs, helps plants grow 
Ulster, and will make you healthier Just 
wai t" 11 you hear some of d 'Lschalk ' s t a bu - 
Jous musk! S5 (33) 

The Radar Coverup: Is police radar 
dangerous? Ross Adey K6L% a world 
authority, confirms the dangers of ra- 
dio and magnetic fields, S3 (34) 
Three Cat to Talks; A prize- winning 
teacher explains what's wrong with 
American schools and why our lads are 
not heing educated. Why are Swedish 
youngsters, who start school at 7 years 
of age, leaving our kids in the dust? 
Our kids are intentionally being 
d urn bed down by our school system 
— the least effective and most expen- 
sive in the world. $5 (35) 
Aspartame: a.k.a. NutraSweel, the 
stuff in diet drinks, etc., can cause all 
kinds of serious health problems. Mul- 
tiple sclerosis, for one. Read all about 
it, two pamphlets for a buck. (38) 
One Hour CW: Using this sneaky 
method even vow can learn the Morse 
Code in one hour and pass dial dumb 
5wpm Tech-Plus ham test. 55 (40) 
Code Tape (T5): This tape will leach 
you the letters, numbers and punctuation 
you need to know- if you are going on to 
learn ihe code at 13 or 20 wpra S5 (41) 
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fusing my system). This should only 
take two or three days. $5 (42) 
Code Tape (T20): Start right out at 20 
wpm and master it in a weekend for 
your Extra Class license, $5 (43) 
Wayne Talks Not at Dayton; This is 
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given at the Dayton, if invited, $5 (50) 
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$1 Million Sales Video: The secret of 
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of l he best i n vestments you or your bu>i - 
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Grist 1: 50 of my best non-ham oriented 
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Grist D: 50 more choice non-ham edi- 
torials from before 1997. $5 (72) 

1997 Editorials: 148 pages. 216 edito- 
rials discussing health, ideas for new 
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more serious problems, Flight 800. the 
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madness, and so on. S 1 (74) 

1998 Editorials: 168 pages that'll give 
you lots of controversial things to talk 
about on the air. S 10 (75) 

1999 Editorials: 160 pages of ideas, 
book reviews, health, education, and 
anything else I think you ought to know 
about. $10(76) 

2000 Editorials: In the works, 
Silver Wire: With two 3" pieces of 
heavy pure silver wire + three 9V bat- 
teries you can make a thousand dol- 
lars worth of silver colloid. What do 
you do with it? It does what the antibi- 
otics do. but germs can't adapt to it. 
Use it to get rid of germs on food, for 
skin fungus, waits, and even to drink. 
Read some books on the uses of silver 
colloid, if s like magic, SIS (SO) 
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and instructions enabling you lo in- 
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_ Yes] Put me down for a year of 7J for only %TS i a stealj, Canada USS32. foreign LSS44 by ie*. . 
_ Td lite to gei more romance into niy dreary tife so send me your How-To-Dancc Video* catalog I 
_ E need seme induioial meugih tires* reduction so *end me your Adventure* In Music CD catalog I 
I Alio* J w«ks for delivery except foreign, though we u> to get mosi orders shipped in a day or iwoj 

73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb200G 63 

Barter 'n' Bug 

Number 64 on your Feedback card 

Turn your old ham and computer gear into cash now. Sure, you can wait for a hamfest to try and dump it, but you know you'll get a far more 

realistic price if you have it out where 1 00,000 active ham potential buyers can see it, rather than the few hundred local hams who come by 

a flea market table. Check your attic, garage, cellar and closet shelves and get cash for your ham and computer gear before it's too old to 

sell. You know you're not going to use it again, so why ieave it for your widow to throw out? That stuff Isn't getting any younger! 

The 73 Flea Market, Barter 'rV Buy, costs you peanuts (almost)— comes to 35 cents a word for individual (noncommercial!) ads and $1 .00 

a word for commercial ads. Don't plan on telling a long story. Use abbreviations, cram it in. But be honest. There are plenty of hams who love 

to fix things, so if it doesn't work, say so, 

Make your list, count the words, including your cat!, address and phone number. Include a check or your credit card number and expiration. 

If you're placing a commercial ad, include an additional phone number, separate from your ad. 

This is a monthly magazine, not a daily newspaper, so figure a couple months before the action starts; then be prepared. If you get too many 

calls, you priced it low. If you don't get many calls, too high. 

So get busy. Blow the dust off, check everything out, make sure it still works right and maybe you can help make a ham newcomer or retired 

old timer happy with that rig you're not using now. Or you might get busy on your computer and put together a list of small gear/parts to send 

to those interested? 

Send your ads and payment to: 73 Magazine, Barter *iT Buy, 70 Hancock RcL, Peterborough NH 03458 and get set for the 
phone calk* The deadline for the May 2000 classified ad section is March 10, 2000. 

President Clinton probably doesn't have a copy 
of Tormefs Electronics Bench Reference but you 
should. Check it out at [ 
index.htm]— over 100 pages of circuits, tables, 
RF design information, sources, etc. BNB53Q 

Copies n 73 Magazine Nov. '63 thru Dec, 78. 
QST Magazine Nov. 63 thru Dec, 78. Ham Ra- 
dio Magazine Mar. '69 thru July 79, CQ Magazine 
Dec '64 thru Mar. 79. $2.00 Each Copy plus 
shipping. W.L. Brown. Box 541, Sullivan's Island 
SC 29482. Tel. (843) 883-3574, BNB73 

Great New Reference Manual with over 100 pgs 
of P/S, transistor, radio, op-amp, antenna designs, 
coil winding tables, etc. See details at [www.ohio. net/ 

-rtormet/index.htm] or send check or M.O. for 
S19.95 + $2,00 P&H to RMT Engineering, 6863 
Buffham Rd M Seville OH 44273. BNB202 

2SC1972, MRF247, MRF455, MB8719, 2SC1307, 
2SC2029, MRF454, 2SC3133,4CX250B, 12DQ6, 
6KG6A. etc. WESTGATE, 1-800- 213-4563, 


QSL CARDS, Basic Styles: Black and White and 
Color Picture Cards; Custom Printed, Send 2 
stamps for samples and literature. RAUM n S. 861 7 
Orchard Rd., Coopersburg PA 18036. Phone or 
FAX (21 5) 679-7238. BNB51 9 

Cash for Collins: Buy any Collins Equipment. 
Leo KJ6H1. TeL/FAX (310) 670-6969. 

[radloleo@earthiink. net]. BNB425 

WANTED: High capacity 12 volt solar panels for 
repeater, [kk4ww@] or (540) 763-2321 , 



Thomas Appleby (copyright 1967). Second print- 
ing available from JOHAN K.V. SVANHOLM 
RIES, P.O. Box 81, Washington DC 20044. Please 
send $2500 donation with $5.00 for S&H. 


Ham Radio Repair, Quality workmanship. Ail 
Brands, Fast Service. Affordable Electronics, 
7110 E. Thomas Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85251 Call 
480-970-0963, or E-mail HAM SERVICE® AOL 
COM. BNB 427 

64 73 Amateur Radio Today • Jan/Feb 2000 

WITHOUT HANGUPS Johan N3RF. Send $1 .00 
RIES, RO. Box 81, Washington DC 20044 USA. 


ASTRON power supply, brand-new w/warranty, 
RS20M 599, RS35M $145, RS50M $209, RS70M 
$249, Web: (], Call for other 
models. (626) 286-0118. BNB411 

HEATHKIT COMPANY is selling photocopies of 
most Heath kit manuals. Only authorized source 

for copyright manuals. Phone: (616) 925- 5899, 
$*4 ET. BNB964 

egant, inexpensive, comprehensive, logical, easy] 
E-mail []. BNB428 

Electricity, Magnetism, Gravity, The Big Bang. 

New explanation of basic forces of nature in this 91 - 
page book covering early scientific theories and ex- 
ploring latest controversial conclusions on their re- 
lationship to a unified field theory. To order, send 
check or money order for $16.95 to; American Sci- 
ence Innovations, PO Box 155, Clarington OH 
43915. Web site for other products [http://www,]. BNB100 

"box of batteries 1 ' for hundreds of dollars? Current 
regulated, AC powered, fully assembled with #12 
AWG silver electrodes, $74.50. Same, but DC pow- 
ered, $54,50. Add $2.50 shipping. Thomas Miller. 
314 South 9th Street, Richmond IN 47374, 


CYCLE I Each educational kit: (Basic - $99.95, De- 
luxe - $199,95, Information - $9.95.) CATALOG - 
KAYLOR-KIT, POB 1550ST, Boulder Creek CA 
95006-1 550. (831 ) 338-2300. BNB1 28 

Wanted Drake L4B or Heathkit SB-221 or SB- 
220, Hallicrafters HT-37 and SX101A. 1-8&8- 
9l7-9077(home), toll free, 
N5GXL Noel Bryant BNB500 



250 pictures/prices. $12 postpaid. ART1FAX 
BOOKS, Box 88, Maynard MA 01754, Telegraph 

Museum: i]. BNB113 

Wanted COLLINS S-LINE Pristine (RE) 32S3-A, 
75S3-C, 516F2, 312B4, 30L1 1 or 30S1 and SM-3, 
Willing to pay top dollar for the station I have 
wanted since age 13. 1-51 2-925-3907 (cell), 
1-888-91 7-9077(home), toll free residential, WA5JUL Bill Bryant. THIS 

Neuer srv die 

continued from page 62 

When I get some time, I'll put all of 
the ways I've discovered for parents to 
raise their children's IQs into one book. 
From my viewpoint any parent who 
does not make a major effort to increase 
their baby's intelligence is guilty of perma- 
nently maiming their child. It's like cutting 
off a hand or a foot. It's child abuse, 

How much of an IQ increase is pos- 
sible/ If parents do the right tilings at the 
right developmental times for their chil- 
dren, fin talking about a 40 to 50 point 
IQ increase! I'm talking a potential gen- 
eration of geniuses. I'm talking about a 
possible revolution in all of the aits, sci- 
ences, and engineering. 

My frustration is that I now have this in- 
formation, which is scientifically backed 
up, but I don't know how I can get it to 
new parents, Oh, I could talk about it on 
the Art Bell Show, but his listeners are 
mostly retired people who don't sleep 
very well at night, plus some long haul 
truck drivers. And my 73 readers are 
mostly hams in their 60s. I need to reach 
teenagers and 20-somethings. 

Please advise. 


PC not 

The Kachina 505DSP the-art DSP 

Computer Controlled HF processing p 

Transceiver After twenty years capabilities c 

of building commercial soon i w o n dei 

transceivers in Arizona, Kachina arent desi 9[ 

has decided the time is right for a settle ,or a '■ 

new approach to amateur radio. when y° ur Ci 

The Kachina 505DSP is nothing simultaneous 

short of a revolution in HF ac,,V1 ^ ante 

transceivers. ^ ea * s ' n ^ * er 

forward and/ 

Why Use Knobs if You Have and a host o 
Windows? The old-fashioned 

front panel has become too 1 j* 

cluttered to be useful, Too many Penormarn 

knobs, too many buttons. 10 ° q/ * compi 

Kachina s 505DSP transceiver Kachina 505 

connects to your computer's exceptional 

serial port and is completely performance 

controlled under Windows" . With Dnck- wa!f d 

optional cables, the radio may be adaptive not 

remotely located up to 75 feet jjjj" reduct 

away from your computer. ' ow in-bandj 

Imagine combining a state-of- signal-to-noi! 

Windows ts a trademark of Microsoft Corp. 

Specifications and features subject to change without notice. 

the-art DSP transceiver with the 
processing power and graphics 
capabilities of your PC and you'll 
soon wonder why all radios 
aren't designed this way. Why 
settle for a tiny LCD display 
when your computer monitor can 
simultaneously show band 
activity, antenna impedance, 
heat sink temperature, SWR, 
forward and/or reflected power 
and a host of other information? 

16/24 Bit DSP/DDS 
Performance In addition to 
100% computer control the 
Kachina 505DSP offers 
exceptional 16/24 bit DSP/DDS 
performance, IF stage DSR 
"brick-waif digital filtering, 
adaptive notch filters and digital 
noise reduction, combined with 
low in-band IMD and high 
signai-to-noise ratio produce an 

excellent sounding receiver 
Sophisticated DSP technology 
achieves performance levels 
unimaginable in the anaiog 
world. The transmitter also 
benefits from precise 16/24 bit 
processing. Excellent carrier and 
opposite-sideband suppression 
is obtained using superior 
phasing-method algorithms. The 
RF compressor will add lots of 
punch to your transmitted signal 
without adding lots of bandwidth, 
and the TX equalizer will atlow 
you to tailor your transmitted 
audio for more highs or lows. 

The Kachina 
505DSP Computer 



5 Works with any Computer 
Running Windows 3.1, 95 
or NT 

■ Covers all Amateur HF 
Bands plus General 
Coverage Receiver 

■ IF Stage 16/24 Bit Digital 
Signal Processing (DSP) 

II DSP Bandpass Filter 
Widths from 100 Hz to 35 
kHz {6 kHz in AM Mode) 

Band Activity Display with 
"Point and Click" 
Frequency Tuning 

"1 On-screen Antenna 
"Smith" Chart, Logging 

Software and Help Menus 

Automatic Frequency 
Calibration from WWV or 
Other External Standard 

■ "Snapshot" Keys for 

Instant Recall of 
Frequencies and Settings 

l Optional Internal Antenna 

Seeing is Believing 

American-made and designed, 
and able to stand on its own 
against the world's besl the 
505DSP is bound to set the 
standard for all that follow. But 
don't take our word for it. 
Visit our website at 
for detailed specifications, to 
download a demo version of our 
control software, or to see a 
current list of Kachina deaters 
displaying demonstration models 
in their showrooms. 



P.O. Box 1949, Cottonwood, Arizona 86326. U.S. A 
Fax: (520) 634-8053, Tel: (520) 634-7828 

TM-D700A DATA COMMUNICATOR 144/440MHz FM Dual Bander 

Conspicuous with Its extra- 
large amber & black display. 
Kenwood's new TM-D7Q0A 
is fully equipped to make 
(he most of the exciting 
opportunities offered by the 
Kenwood Skycomrnand 
System. SSTV, GPS and APRS 
-the Automatic Packet/ 
Position Reporting System 
lhal is rapidly gaining popu- 
larity worldwide. Hits mobile 
transceiver with built-in TNC 
offers a wide range of data 
communications options, 
including simple packet 
operation using the AX. 25 
protocol. You can also send 
and receive SSTV images 
using Kenwood's VC-H1. 
Ham radio is truly entering 
a new era. 


1 1 m IM-JJ/UIM ivn iwi iffisn approved by 
the rc.C. Thli dwm is not and may no: be. 
oftaroo toi &Uo or laose, or sou w leased will 
Hie approval of the FCC, has been dbtainsd 
PhiilIhj i'lwwva! in DftHTiber 1559 

APRS" (Automatic Packet/Position Reporting System) 

I Position/direct tonal data 

With an NMEA-Q183 compatible GPS 
receiver you can iran&mil pusrtinn 
data for automatic calculation of dis- 
tance currant speed and heading. 
Last A dag-Its nan tie masked for 
position ambiguity Manual input of 
latitude/longitude is also possible. 

» Versatile messaging 
Transmission af position data can be 
accompanied Oy a choice of pro- 
grammable status text (up to 2B char- 
acters), petition comments (15 set- 
tings,), icons and bulletins For added 
messaging Itadbity, individual alpha 
messages (up to 64 draracters) can 

I Station hsl 
Suva received APRS*" data in up to 
40 station reports. 

► BCQN TX interval 

► Piickot path selection (cr Dicjpeal 

I Weather station & PHG data 

I Diglpeat station and DIGI (urictlon 

I Aulo Message Reply 

I Audible APRS' message receive 
(tall sign) nclilicair&n (requires 


► Way point position data output 

I Grid square 
Posfeori data is dspiayea on me grid 
square locator lor visible reference, 


• Rrtl Dual-band operation; tfrff N VHF/ 

VHF x UHRUHF « UHF I WipR-band 

receive: 118-524! BOO- tMO Mrte 
{excluding cellular blocked + frequencies} 
I Detached pannl (rtwlon cacle and 
panel holder supplied} wilh sxlra-lar-qe 
llSfi x 54 dots) bacKlIt LCD and multifunc- 
tion key disc lay tieversrbiei I Improved 
key operation announcement with 
optional VS-3 voice synffresi^er » Bujlt-ln 
1200^60000$ TNC COrrpfcmt with AX 25 
pratocai and KiSS modi I Simpaflflfl 
packet monttortng I SSTV (unctions with 
FastFM *cr transmission G* images m tust 
14 sees (apfjrox i and fo# receive ny 
voice and image transmissions (two 
frequencies smurtaiaouSiy) • ?Q0 
umtKHy tf mw l i w<h B-ctui actor 
memory name inpot I Up to TO 
pognmarife memory scan banks 
I Easy - to-use nwnu system similar 
(Digital Code Squelch) and CTCSS 
encode and decode I CTCSS tone 
frequency scan i DCS code Scan 
1 9S00bo$ PC-based packet 
communications for CM!. BBS 

I Kenwood Skycomrnand System iKSt: I 
for remote control 01 fixed HF transceiver 
(TS-570S/D[G) of 7S-8705) I DX packet 
cluster monitormfl I Cross-band repeater 
I Wireiess rgmoie controller 1 17SDHz 
tone ourst I D-Sutr 9 pin tormina! (lor 
PCs} I GPS Input terminal (NMEA-0103) 
a Visual band scope ■ Mute function 
I Memory control program avaitabla via 
Internet access I New backtit 
microphone win alphanumeric 
message input 

Example A: with GPS receiver a laptop 


TM-D7H0A GPS receiver 

TM-D7O0A laptop 

ExampleB: withVC-Ht 

D-sub 9-pin 

W-D700A VC-Hl 



GPS panel 

"'I 1 - 1 Display 


Amateur Radio Products Group 



P.O. Box 22745* 2201 E. Dominggez St T Long Beach. CA 90801-5745. USA 

Customer Support/Brochures (310) 639^5300 


6070 Kestrel Road, Mississauga. Ontario. Canada L5T 1S8 99ARD-1S50 

ISO 9001 
JQA-1 205 

Communications Equipment Division 
Kenwood Corporation 
1309001 Canificotlcin 


Kenwood News & Products 
http^/www.kenwood . net 
Kenwood Bulletins